Riverbanks Welcomes Eight-Armed Wonder: Giant Pacific Octopus Joins the Aquarium and Reptile Conservation Center

As the holiday season unfolds, Riverbanks Zoo and Garden has a unique celebration of its own with the arrival of Susan, a Giant Pacific Octopus, to the Darnall W. and Susan F. Boyd Aquarium and Reptile Conservation Center (ARCC). Almost nine months after the grand opening of the ARCC, the eight-armed cephalopod has become a fascinating addition to the Riverbanks family.

The introduction of Susan the Octopus is particularly special, as it fulfills the wish of Susan Boyd, the generous donor behind the ARCC renovation. Susan Boyd, a devoted octopus enthusiast, was one of the first to meet the octopus named in her honor.

Kendra Bottini, Aquarium Curator at Riverbanks, expressed the excitement surrounding Susan’s arrival, stating, “The number one question we get day after day is when will the octopus be here, and now we have an answer.” Delays related to mechanical issues with the water chiller and tank sealant were overcome through months of hard work, culminating in the octopus’s long-awaited debut.

Bottini added, “I’m just happy to finally lay eyes on her. Octopi are just really amazing creatures. To have the opportunity to care for one is absolutely thrilling.”

Riverbanks Zoo and Garden invites guests to visit Susan during regular daytime hours inside the ARCC, conveniently located across from the moon jelly wall. It’s a chance for visitors to witness the wonder of this intelligent and elusive creature up close.

The Zoo, home to over 3,000 animals and a public garden, remains open for daytime visits until 4 pm, with a brief closure from January 14 for the Wild Lights event. For more information and to plan a visit, interested individuals can explore riverbanks.org.

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