Octopus coming to Maymont this spring

Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 5:04 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) -Maymont welcomes a new 8-legged friend to its nature center this Friday.

The live octopus is coming to the Robins Nature Center along with a collection of preserved specimens of native species collected in the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Coast on loan from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) at William and Mary.

The new arrival is only about 4 inches long and very shy, but he will be for use in Maymont’s education programs through May 2023. The octopus will remain on view for up to a year in The Robins Nature Center, the largest facility in central Virginia, showcasing many different species of fish, reptiles, amphibians, crustaceans and even mammals that inhabit the James River and the Chesapeake Bay.

“We are so excited to expand Maymont’s aquatic collection with such a fascinating creature,” said Krista Weatherford, Director of Programming and Community Engagement. “It will help our educators teach about the differences between vertebrate and invertebrate species, animal adaptations, both physical and behavioral, and human impacts on their habitats.”

There will also be a free screening of the award-winning documentary, “My Octopus Teacher,” for free on Friday, March 17, at Maymont on 1000 Westover Road as part of the 13th Annual RVA Environmental Film Festival at 6:30 p.m. A panel discussion and Q&A will follow the screening.