Vancouver Island aquarium names giant Pacific octopus after Dr. Bonnie Henry
VANCOUVER -- The newest resident of a Vancouver Island aquarium has been named after B.C.'s provincial health officer, the centre announced Wednesday.
The Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea in Sidney said it usually relies on themes, ballots, community votes and tallies to come up with names, which can often go on for weeks, before a winner is announced.
But the team said it knew even before the octopus was in their care that it wanted to acknowledge the "kindness, intelligence, compassion, dedication, and calm demeanor" of Dr. Bonnie Henry.
"And if the giant in giant Pacific octopus wasn't a clear enough measure of admiration, octopuses have three hearts, a symbol that has come to reflect gratitude for Dr. Henry, health-care and front-line workers," the aquarium said in a statement.
Though the centre wasn't sure what the sex of their new octopus would be, they decided if it was a female, it would be called Bonnie and if it was male, Henry.
Henry, a male weighing about five pounds, moved into the facility on June 18 and is settling in well to his temporary home, the aquarium said.
He will be released after about six months. The centre's last octopus, Pebbles, was released back into the wild shortly before the facility closed its doors in mid-March amid the pandemic.
It's just one of the latest expressions of appreciation for B.C.'s provincial health officer.
Fans of Henry's have also taken to making fan art in her honour, including tea towels, stickers and even a doll in her likeness.
At the beginning of the pandemic, a Dr. Bonnie Henry Fan Club Twitter account was created by a Vancouver man so B.C. residents could show their appreciation for her.
And shoe designer John Fluevog named a shoe after Henry with proceeds from the sale going towards Food Banks BC.
With files from CTV News Vancouver's Alyse Kotyk