Operation Octopus Freedom
By Jeffrey Jacobs (05/13/09 09:46:57)
Related animal: Octopus

Operation Octopus Freedom

When we visited the UCSB REEF I couldn't help but notice a few very strange things about the research being done. I noticed a stark difference between the way scientists used the animals and the way we wanted to collaborate with them. The researchers didn't seem to care about how the animals felt about being trapped in this facility. In fact, some of their research was without a doubt borderline animal cruelty. For example, the rockfish had tags embedded into their skulls, not in order to track the fish or monitor them, but rather to test how well an embedded brain tag works. It seemed rather pointless then to embed these pieces of plastic in every fish in the room.
The octopus that lives in the REEF has a long history of trying to escape. In fact, he has become so good at it that the researchers must put a heavy object on top of the tank. It is strange to think that when a scientist sees an animal trying to escape they think "how can we better trap it in our confinement" rather than "I wonder why its trying to escape" or "maybe we should set it free." If you ask me, it's pretty obvious that the octopus must be miserable inside of its tiny tank. It can probably sense its Pacific home that exists beyond the walls of the REEF not thirty yards away. My hypothetical collaboration would be to bust into the REEF, mission impossible style, steal the octopus and finally set it free. Obviously this would be a bad decision as I could risk being kicked out of school for stealing their 'property'. Instead perhaps I could hand out flyers or petitions to support the freeing of our depressed little octopus. After all, I'm pretty sure it's not an octopus' natural instinct to want to be carried around in a bottle.

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