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|8 is Enough: Ursula, a Giant Oregon Coast Pacific Octopus, Gets Her Own TV Show|
For five months, the octopus tank at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport sat empty, but that's no longer the case.
Ursula the octopus has made her public debut both in person and online.
Right now, an underwater camera is being used to film the octopus purely for entertainment. But in the near future, OSU and Sea Grant employees plan on using the device inside classrooms.
Ursula is a female giant pacific octopus that's native to the Oregon Coast.
Similar creatures can grow up to weigh 100 pounds, but the similarity ends there.
Ursula is one-of-a-kind -- a teaching octopus.
"We're going to have school groups tune into those feedings live and they'll be able to ask us questions and then we can answer their questions live," said Becca Schiewe, HMSC Volunteer Coordinator.
It's a new kind of learning experience that employees say will enlighten children who live inland and who can't make it to the coast.
"[It will] encourage kids to learn more about ocean life and ocean animals, and it's just kind of a neat opportunity to see the feedings live," Schiewe said.
It's an opportunity that Gretchin Winde didn't want to miss.
After seeing the octocam online from her home in Coeur d'Alene, Id., she brought her children to see Ursula up close.
"I'm sure they enjoyed it when they fed the octopus, and then also just seeing the color change and seeing it move...and they get first-hand knowledge of something they don't normally see," Winde said.
Her children say they learned a lot, especially while watching Ursula get fed.
"I never knew that it was actually a beak, I thought it was basically a mouth pretty much," said Lily Winde.
If you want to come take a look at Ursula in Newport, the doors are open Thursday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., or you can always watch the octocam online.
GIANT PACIFIC OCTOPUS