WEST SEATTLE SCENE: ‘Licorice’ the octopus goes free

Thanks to Lynn Shimamoto of Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network for the photos and report:

This happened around 1 pm at Don Armeni. Seal Sitters was tending to a harbor seal pup at the boat ramp when a truck from the Seattle Aquarium pulled up. Liz Boggs and Chris Van Damme invited us to watch the release of an octopus. The 28-pound male octopus nicknamed “Licorice” had been residing at the aquarium, but now it’s hoped he will find a mate and live out his days in Elliott Bay.

Two months ago, “Licorice” – a Giant Pacific Octopus – played a role in the Seattle Kraken pro-hockey team’s expansion draft.

15 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE SCENE: 'Licorice' the octopus goes free"

  • HS September 30, 2021 (6:20 pm)

    Yay! My favorite animal. Wish I had seen this.

  • Steve September 30, 2021 (6:25 pm)

    Well i guess it’s ok to go back to the aquarium now. That creepy guy would stare and follow me with his gaze around the room. Seriously…. have you ever made eye contact with and octopus? You see their intelligence behind those eyes.

    • miws September 30, 2021 (7:49 pm)

      Steve, but now he’s been released. I hope you don’t live close to Alki… ;-) —Mike

  • Jim September 30, 2021 (7:40 pm)

    I was in the Aquarium during the Covid closure performing some maintenance. I happened to walk by the octopus tank, and the normally shy octopus head butted the window as I walked by. Seems he just wanted some interaction. So i stopped and visited for a few minutes. Amazing creatures.

  • Neighbor September 30, 2021 (9:05 pm)

    If you haven’t seen the movie, “My Octopus Teacher,” it’s really interesting.  Octopuses are pretty amazing.

  • Insertname September 30, 2021 (9:23 pm)

    Godspeed, Licorice. Godspeed. 

  • Jaye October 1, 2021 (12:21 am)

    I hope Licorice knows how to survive in the wild.

  • anonyme October 1, 2021 (8:22 am)

    My Octopus Teacher was incredible and heartbreaking. What amazing, intelligent beings.  Licorice, live long and propagate!

  • Wsresident October 1, 2021 (9:33 am)

    Just a another example of the human arrogance that exists- removing a wild animal from the sea for marketing purposes (or a sports team no less) to then put him back in his natural environment when we are ready?! Gross. He’s living a natural process in a natural environment, foraging for food, setting up situations to keep himself safe. Tired of human selfishness. 

    • Shuf October 1, 2021 (11:18 am)

      Uh, are you sure Licorice was removed from the wild just to be used by the Kraken? A little background information on when and why Licorice came to the Aquarium would be appreciated.

    • Shuf October 1, 2021 (11:23 am)

      Are you sure Licorice was removed from the wild just to be used by the Kraken? I was under the impression that was not the case.  Some background information on when and why Licorice arrived at the Aquarium would be appreciated.

      • WSB October 1, 2021 (12:16 pm)

        Yes, I’m pursuing a little more backstory. This came in after hours so I couldn’t ask yesterday. The Kraken event just happened to come up when I searched. Will add any info I get so check back.

    • Darrell Jesse October 1, 2021 (11:37 am)

      He wasn’t removed from the sea for the hockey team, he was living in the Seattle Aquarium.

  • Friend of the community October 1, 2021 (4:41 pm)

    If folks have any questions or concerns about anything regarding the acquisition and release of this animal, please reach out to the seattle aquarium. Releases are a part of the standard operation of care for the giant pacific octopuses there and this animal had been living under the high quality care of their staff for the majority of the year. The involvement with the hockey team was a very minor part of the animal’s stay, the animal is primarily an ambassador for its species and inspires the public to conserve the marine environment through empathy driven educational content. There is contact information on the aquarium website, if you have further questions. Thank you. 

    • WSB October 1, 2021 (4:45 pm)

      I actually did email their media folks hours ago looking for a little more backstory on Licorice. No reply so far. – TR

Sorry, comment time is over.