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Originally published Wednesday, February 22, 2012 at 7:03 PM

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Octopus Week winds up at the Seattle Aquarium

Learn all about Puget Sound's native giant Pacific octopus during the final days of Octopus Week at the Seattle Aquarium.

Seattle Times staff

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The romantic tale of sixteen arms and six hearts started on Valentine's Day, when Mayhem, Seattle Aquarium's female giant Pacific octopus, met Rocky, her male counterpart, setting their three-hearts-each aflutter.

Mayhem played hard to get for a while before the pair hit it off. She was released into Puget Sound a few days later, hopefully to soon become a mother to thousands of hatchlings. Visitors can watch on video as Rocky is released Saturday, guided by biologists to his new home under the pier.

Octopus activities continue at the Aquarium on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, highlighting Puget Sound's native giant Pacific octopuses, intelligent, reclusive creatures that grow bigger and live longer than any other octopus species. See divers with octopuses at noon and feeding at 4 p.m. daily. There will also be keeper talks and craft activities for kids.

It's also a big weekend for another popular Seattle Aquarium resident, Aniak, the sea otter's adorable female pup. Playful otters are always popular, and the new little one that's been drawing admiring crowds since she was born Jan. 14 will be officially named Monday based on popular vote. Choose which Northwest-themed name you think suits her best — Willapa, Shi Shi, Elwha, Sequim or Sekiu — and vote on Seattle Aquarium's website, www.seattleaquarium.org, through 6 p.m. Friday.

Information and registration for summer programs are available now, including marine summer camp for kids, family exploration events and beach naturalist days at several locations in May, June and July.

Octopus Week at Seattle Aquarium

Time: Octopus Week activities, 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, Saturday, Sunday; aquarium open 9:30 a.m. daily, last entry 5 p.m., exhibits open until 6 p.m. daily.

Cost: $19.95/ages 13 and older, $13.95/ages 4-12, ages 3 and younger free. Aquarium plus Argosy Harbor Cruise, $35/ages 13 and older, $21/ages 4-12, ages 3 and younger free.

Location: The Seattle Aquarium, 1483 Alaskan Way, Pier 59, Seattle.

Getting there: Metered parking available along the waterfront and under the viaduct and at several pay lots; $1 off parking at Republic Parking Hillclimb Garage with discount stamp from Aquarium customer-service desk. For Metro Transit information, call 206-553-3000 or see tripplanner.kingcounty.gov/. Sound Transit Link light-rail information: 206-398-5000 or soundtransit.org.

More information: 206-386-4300 or www.seattleaquarium.org.

Madeline McKenzie: 206-464-8245 or mmckenzie@seattletimes.com

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