Rescue
Woman sees octopus mama laying eggs in pipe and vows to protect them
The story of the octopus and the woman ended up taking a few twists and turns as the months went on.
D.G. Sciortino
05.04.22

Casey the octopus thought she had found a place where her babies would be safe from predators.

But the PVC pipe had actually been a ruse to lure her in so fishermen could find and eat her.

But Casey was determined to save her babies and Sheree Marris was determined to help her.

The Dodo - Facebook
Source:
The Dodo - Facebook

Marris would walk along the beach every morning, and one day found a plastic pipe.

“All I could see were these suckers and these arms. And then she came out it’s then that I saw she had these eggs,” Marris told The Dodo. “And then she started pushing the pipe back into the water, which was absolutely extraordinary.”

Octopuses need to be smart about where they hide since their soft bodies make them vulnerable to predators.

“Some fisher people will deliberately sink these tubes hoping an octopus will take up residence,” Marris explained. “I want to save her so no one would eat her or her babies.”

The Dodo - Facebook
Source:
The Dodo - Facebook

According to OctoNation, some species of octopuses can lay hundreds of thousands of eggs at a time.

Others will only produce one egg capsule at a time which can contain about 100 embryos.

So, there’s no telling how many lives Marris was saving when she tied the pipe to a brick and put it deeper into the water.

The Dodo - Facebook
Source:
The Dodo - Facebook

She went out a few times to check on Casey, a name Marris gave the octopus which means “warrior mother.”

“A couple of times I went out there she would put her arm out,” Marris said. “When they look after their young they don’t eat but I found a muscle nearby and she actually took it and started eating.”

The Dodo - Facebook
Source:
The Dodo - Facebook

Unfortunately, despite Marris’ efforts to save Casey and her babies, the weather had other plans.

The weather had turned really windy and Marris couldn’t find the tube.

“I didn’t know whether or not I would ever see Casey again,” Marris said.

The Dodo - Facebook
Source:
The Dodo - Facebook

“About two to three weeks went by, I was walking about 2 kilometers from where I first put her. There was Casey on the sea grass and she was looking a bit worse for wear.”

Marris picked up Casey and soon found the pipe on the shore about 5 meters away.

“I knew it was her tube because I knew about the shape,” Marris said.

Marris reunited Casey with her babies and had her friend create a structure that would keep the family more secure in the water and prevent the tube from rolling onto shore.

“When I came down and had a look she didn’t really seem scared by me. I wonder if she recognized that it was me and was going, ‘Ok that’s my human she’s kind of one of us.’ I’m just in awe of octopus.”

Marris, who is a marine biologist, was happy to see her effort pay off when some of the baby octopuses were born and finally hatched from their eggs.

Learn more about Casey and Marris in the video below.

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By D.G. Sciortino
hi@sbly.com
D.G. is a contributing writer in Shareably. She's based in Connecticut and can be reached at hi@shareably.net.
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