MOUNT VERNON, Wash. — A Giant Pacific octopus stranded on a Skagit County beach was saved by a little girl and a group of researchers.
"It can't survive out of water for more than several minutes, it collapses their gills," said Annie England with the Padilla Bay Reserve.
She got a call from the ranger at Bay View State Park in Mount Vernon on March 15 about an octopus stranded on the beach.
"I wasn't anticipating finding such an alive, healthy octopus," said England.
England credits a little girl who was visiting the beach with her family for keeping the octopus alive.
"She was taking water with her little sand bucket, and she was filling it up and she was pouring it on top of the octopus,” England said.
England said what the girl did is the best thing someone can do if they ever encounter an octopus out of the water.
"We would never encourage the public to try to move an octopus or touch it," England said. "But pouring water on it and calling a local aquarium or organization that you know works with marine animals."
England said finding an octopus alive out of the water is not common. This is the first octopus rescue she and her team has ever done.
"We had to be very conscientious on where we were putting our hands while we were moving the octopus thankfully, we were able to get it into the bin and then we were able to drag it out," she said.
England is relieved the mission was a success and hopes the octopus doesn't have to ever experience something like it again.