The Seattle Aquarium has put out a call for recreational divers to be part of their annual Puget Sound Giant Octopus Survey. I’m not sure why we need to count them, but it’s probably something to do with either extinction or an employee of the Aquarium who has nothing to do and is trying to keep from going off the deep end.
Weighing as much as 150 pounds with tentacles that can span up to 20 feet, the giant pacific octopus lives up to its name. It’s the biggest octopus in the world and it calls the waters off Seattle home, part of its vast range over the Pacific Ocean. Fortunately for the volunteer divers, the octopi don’t eat humans.
They reportedly counted 28 this year, up from 17 last year but my question is how do they know the difference and how are they sure that Bob and John didn’t count the same ones. I don’t know if they mark them or tag them. They all look the same to me.
Do they record them as to where they were found such as, ‘Number 4 under tires near shopping carts;’ ‘Number 5 by old car and broken beer bottles?’
Do they grid off an area then count the tentacles and come up and divide by eight? It doesn’t seem to be an exact science to me.
We are obsessed with counting our animals. I feel sorry for the bear that staggers home to his den a day late, a big number 8 painted on his side, a tag on his ear and a hypodermic needle stuck in his butt. You know his wife is not going to buy the story he is going to try to pass along.
The provincial government is planning a wolf cull in parts of the province and many people will be upset. Some caribou herds have reduced to less than 20, so the wolves must go. Protesters say it is cruel and needless. Ranchers in the area who have seen a pack of wolves rip a calf fetus from a birthing cow say the cull is necessary.
We introduce a species to reduce a species then we destroy them when the balance tips the other way. Did anyone ever think that maybe none of this our business and that maybe we are the problem? I’m sure 300 years ago, all these animals co-existed in our fields and forests without our interference.
A few years back, we took some visitors to Tofino. They saw all sorts of marine life, eagles, hawks, etc. in their natural surroundings, but as we were leaving they had not seen a bear. I took a service road to the local landfill where humans dump their garbage. We saw four bears. We build into the bush and up the mountains and we call the bears and cougars intruders. How incredibly arrogant we are.
Just maybe, global warming is Nature’s way of culling the problem. She knows that the animals will know how to burrow and hibernate and grow extra fur, they can adapt and survive. We humans are not so good at adapting. We specialize in blaming and complaining and as our burrows are blown down or washed away, we may soon become extinct.
Maybe we are not in charge after all. The octopi, the wolves and the caribou will figure it out. We should concentrate on saving our own species. At least that’s what McGregor says.