Will Closing Aquarium Return Octopus to Her Ocean Home?

PETA Calls on Morro Bay Aquarium to Give Octopus Her Freedom

For Immediate Release:
May 10, 2018

David Perle 202-483-7382

San Luis Obispo, Calif.

As the Morro Bay Aquarium prepares to close down in the fall, PETA sent operator Jon Alcorn a letter today urging him to release the octopus who was recently caught by fishers.

“Octopuses are highly intelligent individuals who belong in the sea, not in tanks of chemically treated water,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on the Morro Bay Aquarium to go out on a high note by releasing this octopus back to her ocean home, where she can return to the freedom she once knew.”

PETA, whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment,” also suggests that the aquarium stop acquiring more fish for its tanks. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

PETA’s letter to the Morro Bay Aquarium follows.

May 10, 2018

John Alcorn


Morro Bay Aquarium

Dear Mr. Alcorn,

On behalf of PETA, I’m writing to open a dialog about the future of the animals at the aquarium as you prepare to close.

We understand that pinnipeds have already been relocated, but we urge you to stop acquiring additional fish and to release the octopus who was caught in a net and is now at Morro Bay. Given that the last octopus at your facility reportedly died when the water in her tank overheated, we—and many others—are concerned about this animal.

After so many years in the business, you surely know how complex and smart octopuses are.

In the sea—where they belong—these willowy, winsome animals form relationships with other octopuses and communicate by changing their color and positioning their bodies in certain ways. They can also recognize individual people. They’re curious and like to adorn their homes with ocean trinkets. Captive octopuses have managed to escape, including one who slipped out of his tank, worked his way across the floor, and went down a drain pipe. These animals don’t want to be trapped in tanks. They want to be free.

As you prepare to embark on a new chapter in your life, won’t you please allow this octopus to pursue her own? The aquarium would garner enormous goodwill by releasing her back to her ocean home and could be proud of this altruistic act near the end of a long run in business.

May we hear that you’ll make this happen and will also stop acquiring any other animals from the wild? Let Morro Bay go out on a high note!


John Di Leonardo, M.S.

Assistant Manager, Animals in Entertainment

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