"Shaking Hands" with an Octopus

shaking hands at Kanaloa Octopus farm

“Shaking hands” with an octopus is a slightly ticklish affair. I recently met 3 cephalopods at the Kanaloa Octopus Farm on the big island of Hawaii. The 3 lovelies, named “Ramona Singer,” Countess Luann,” and “Dorinda Medley” (shout-out to the Real Housewives of New York!) were curious and somewhat friendly. I dangled my fingers just below the surface of their tanks and they slowly extended their arms for a “taste.” Octopuses taste by touch. Their suckers moved lightly up and down my fingers in a light tickle and then, realizing I wasn’t tasty or edible, they moved on. 

 

Welcome mural at Kanaloa Octopus Farm

The Kanaloa Octopus Farm is a research facility located at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority in Kailua-Kona. Their goal is to produce a sustainable alternative to wild-caught octopus for aquariums, researchers, and saltwater aquarium hobbyists. Read more about how this farm/research lab started, what they do and how you can take your own tour at http://khon2.com/2017/05/08/island-of-hawaii-week-kanaloa-octopus-farm/

shaking hands with upside down octopus.jpg

Octopus are great escape artists, thus the netting over this tank. This happy octopus has toys (a rubber ducky),  an in-tank cave, plenty of fresh lobster and crab and lots of friendly visitors. 

Anne Dana