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Inky the Octopus and Chacha the Chimpanzee’s Quest for Freedom


An octopus named Inky broke out of his tank at the National Aquarium of New Zealand, in a brazen escape that has earned the admiration of his former masters. Rob Yarrell, national manager of the aquarium in Napier, said: “Octopuses are famous escape artists.” While investigators are still unsure how he slid out of his glass prison, Yarrell conjectured that Inky, “such a curious boy” would merely “want to know what’s happening on the outside” as that was “just his personality.” At about the same time, on another island to New Zealand’s northeast, a chimpanzee sought to break free, too. His dramatic dash for freedom was captured by cameras, in scenes reminiscent of a classic movie, as poignantly reminding us of the yearning for freedom of every living creature, entitled to it as much as anyone. Yet for all his anger and desperation, Chacha the chimpanzee could not make it farther than electricity pole in the Japanese city of Sendai, where he was returned to the zoo after his capture in a world that a very long time ago has turned alien for him. While it is true that in the last few years zoos have turned more “humane,” an oxymoron we hope our readers will forgive us for, we can only hope that conservation efforts may still one day restore freedom, and our undisturbed place, to all of us who share the world.


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