Georgette the Giant Pacific Octopus returns to Puget Sound
By KYRA LOW
Federal Way Mirror Reporter
June 4, 2010 · 1:34 PM
She's only been at Highline Community College for seven months, but already she's graduating.
Highline's Marine Science and Technology Center (MaST) is graduating its octopus, Georgette, to bigger and greener pastures — the Puget Sound.
Georgette, a Giant Pacific Octopus, has grown already to almost 10 feet in armspan. This breed of octopus is the largest in the world can grow to an armspan of 30 feet, said Kaddee Lawrence, director of MaST.
"It's no longer feasible to keep her in the tank," she said.
By releasing her now, Georgette will have time to finish maturing before doing her "biological objective."
Georgette will be released during her graduation ceremony, which will be added to today's Water Weekend. Water Weekends run 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday at Redondo, next to Salty's Restaurant on Redondo Beach Drive S.
Georgette will be released by a diver at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 5.
The diver will have a communication device so he can hear the questions asked by attendees.
There will be cake and refreshments to celebrate Georgette's return to the wild. She was captured in the wild last November. The Highline program has a license to capture creatures for the MaST center. There are plans to capture another smaller octopus when possible.
Toughly 80 species of marine life live in the several observation tanks and three touch tanks at the center. When the species get too large for their environment, they are either released back into the wild or sent to the Seattle Aquarium.
In her time at the MaST, Georgette was a big attraction, especially for the children.
"They are amazed at how much she grows, how much she interacts," Lawrence said.
Georgette changes color and texture depending on her moods.
"You can learn a lot just by watching," Lawrence said.
The program's organizers hope that Georgette will stay in the Redondo area for divers to see, joining another octopus just off shore that is a common sight for divers.Contact Federal Way Mirror Reporter Kyra Low at email@example.com or (253) 925-5565.