A California fishmonger says a past encounter with a super-smart octopus had made him such a fan of the creatures, he recently did something that runs contrary to his whole business: He bought a captured octopus just so he could toss him back into the water.
Giovanni DeGarimore told SanLuisObispo.com that he had a change of heart about the octopus after a series of events in the past decade. Of course, a lot of research has been published during that time about how intelligent and talented octopuses are as creatures. However, DeGarimore recently shared a firsthand experience with an octopus while scuba diving that really convinced him of that.
"Essentially, we played a game of hide-and-seek for 15 minutes under the ocean," he said.
So when a fisherman tried to sell him another octopus that was supposed to be a customer's dinner, DeGarimore said he couldn't bear the idea of "a beautiful animal" being chopped up. That said, he still paid the fisherman who caught it and took it off his hands — only to release it back into the wild.
About a week ago, his company shared a post introducing customers to "Fred," the name given to the special octopus. Temporarily living at the fish market, the octopus seemed to be pretty happy about heading home to the sea. Not long after the post went up — to mostly positive responses from fans and followers — Fred returned to the big old blue with some help from DeGarimore.
DeGarimore said he released Fred in a secure place far away from any threats such as sea lions. In the meantime, he's been surprised by how much attention his good deed has gotten from people. But he says if his decision to no longer sell octopus products can make a difference, he'll be happy.
"It'll hit me in the pocket," he said. "But I'd rather stand for something."