Meet Sawyer, the Shedd Aquarium's newly named giant Pacific octopus

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Friday, July 9, 2021
Help Shedd Aquarium name new giant Pacific octopus
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Visitors to the Shedd Aquarium can cast their vote on the octopus' name during the last week in June.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Shedd Aquarium's giant Pacific octopus officially has a name!

Meet Sawyer!

The Chicago aquarium announced the new resident's official name Wednesday after asking the public to help decide by voting on a few preselected options.

After 3,000 votes casts, the name Sawyer was elected, naming the eight-limbed mollusk after the Shedd's recently retired aquarist Ernie Sawyer.

Some of the other options were:

  • Anderson, named after late Shedd researcher Doctor Roland Anderson;
  • Attenborough, named for Sir David Attenborough;
  • Dofleini, the scientific name of the giant Pacific octopus;
  • Knapp, for Dr. Chuck Knapp of the Shedd Aquarium.
  • Sawyer has arms spanning about 14 feet. Each arm has 280 suckers to help the octopus taste, smell, feel and grasp.

    This is the first time the aquarium has asked for guests to help name an octopus, although the public has helped name a number of other animals in the past, including beluga whales, dolphins, penguins, and more.

    Guests at the aquarium can come face-to-face with the newly named octopus in the Oceans exhibit and can still view Octopus: Blue Planet II 4D Experience.

    The video featured is from a previous report.