Sunday, February 15, 2009

Marine creatures

Another feisty octopus, a lucky lobster, and some unfortunate turtles...

First, the sad news. Just last week, some 1,900 Olive Ridley sea turtles came ashore at the Gahirmatha marine sanctuary in Orissa, India - not to lay their eggs, as scientists were expecting, but to die. According to the story, "thousands of Olive Ridleys get killed along the Orissa coast every year by getting entangled in the nets of the trawlers that operate illegally in the prohibited zones when lakhs of these endangered species congregate for mating." The damaged turtles are now decomposing and being scavenged by stray dogs.

Meanwhile, this guy has been given a reprieve from the dinner table by virtue of the fact that he has reached the grand age of 140! The release of the 20 lb. lobster from a seafood restaurant in New York was lobbied for by PETA. "George" was returned to the ocean in mid-January via a rocky cove in Kennebunkport, Maine.

And lastly, another rascally octopus! "Sid" was living in a tank at an aquarium in Dunedin, New Zealand, until he made his move. He mysteriously went missing last month. Five days later, he was spotted by a staff member making a dash for the door. Sid had been hiding out in a drain, which pumps fresh sea water into the aquarium! He was persuaded to return to his tank, but senior aquarist Matthew Crane decided Sid had done his time: "We are realising he is getting a little older in his life and maybe searching for a mate so that's why we've gone ahead and set his release." Watch the video in this linked article to see him swim away. The next occupant of the tank has some stories to live up to: Sid's predecessor "Harry [Houdini]" was once found halfway up a staircase!

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