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Stormy journey brings Sidney aquarium new octopus ambassador

Storm detoured to the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea after weather cancelled her flight to Europe
The Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea welcomed Storm, its new giant Pacific Octopus ambassador, named after the challenging journey which brought her to the centre. (Courtesy of Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea)

Sidney’s Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea welcomed a new eight-tentacled friend recently, but their journey to the aquarium was anything but ordinary.

Back in December 2022, B.C. and much of the continent was hit by a series of disrupted winter storms, turning airports, roads, and ferries into chaos and forcing thousands of travellers to cancel their plans. Among them was a giant Pacific octopus the Vancouver Aquarium had received and was in the process of being moved to Scandinavia in northern Europe.

Caught in the chaos and reliant on a specialized transport tank requiring water, oxygen and climate control, the octopus was in search of a new home and the need was growing.

Enter the Shaw Centre’s head of animal care Kit Thornton. After receiving a call about the octopus’ situation, she made arrangements for it to be brought to the centre by ferry.

In a news release, the centre said the timing proved perfect, as they were getting ready to release Sequin, their previous octopus, back into the ocean.

Of course, the new octopus ambassador needed a name. The centre’s staff decided to take inspiration from her dramatic journey, naming the four-pound creature Storm.

Storm will help educate visitors to the centre for the next six months before she too is released back into the ocean with quite a story to tell.

READ MORE: B.C. diver shakes a leg with giant Pacific octopus, in ‘mind-blowing’ encounter

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