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By: Sarah Sharkey
A retired chemical engineer had spent his time volunteering at the New England Aquarium. In total, he has spent 7,800 hours at the aquarium helping cephalopods enjoy their environment.
He has a gentle way of interacting with these beautiful animals. Although the tentacles on a Pacific octopus are strong enough to kill a shark, Menashi says calmly while it climbs up his arm.
He had this to say about his abilities, “I’ve been able to interact with them from the beginning. I do not know why. I cannot explain it but I can connect with them.”
His work involves designing puzzle boxes for octopuses, running their heads, wrestling with their tentacles and more. He hopes to stimulate their highly developed brains. He has been doing this for over 20 years and the octopuses along the way have all benefited from his involvement.
He had this to say about his work “what I find totally surprising is how they could tell different people and react differently. I’ve also made them a few toys, made some boxes and I put different latches so they could get it and figure out how to get the food that I put in the boxes.” Apparently, if it took too long the octopus might just crush the box!
He said his time with the octopus has been a lifesaver!
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