Seattle Aquarium cancels octopus mating event, fears cannibalism

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To celebrate Valentine's Day, officials at the Seattle Aquarium wanted to allow visitors to watch a live mating between two octopuses.

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The annual octopus mating event is open to the public and was set to take place at noon on Sunday. 

But aquarium workers couldn't find an appropriate mate for Kong, a 70-pound octopus. They canceled the "blind date" event because they feared that he would eat any female octopus with whom they could potentially pair him. All the female octopuses whom they had considered weighed 30 to 40 pounds -- half Kong's weight.

Instead, divers swam with the giant "bachelor" octopus while visitors watched.

According to Huffington Post, giant Pacific octopuses like Kong live between 3 and 5 years. They can grow to be 150 pounds and up to 20 feet long, according to the aquarium's website

The eight-legged cephalopods are terminal breeders who die soon after mating and reproducing. 

We’ve made some changes to our #OctopusWeek event! At noon on February 14, instead of our octopus blind date event,...

Posted by Seattle Aquarium on Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Join us at noon today to see divers swim with Kong, our male giant Pacific #octopus, in the Window on Washington Waters...

Posted by Seattle Aquarium on Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Valentine's Day #OctoFact—you might want to kiss a red octopus but we don’t advise it: their venom can cause very painful local effects. #OctopusWeek

Posted by Seattle Aquarium on Sunday, February 14, 2016

With arm spans reaching up to 20 feet across, giant Pacific octopuses can more than wrap their arms around you—and give you triple the love with their three hearts. #ValentinesDay #OctopusWeek

Posted by Seattle Aquarium on Sunday, February 14, 2016

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