9-year-old boy’s parents adopt pet octopus who ended up laying dozens of eggs

A family that was hoping to spark a child’s interest with a new pet got a little more than they bargained for.

EDMOND, Okla. — A family in Edmond, Oklahoma that was hoping to spark a child’s interest with a new pet got a little more than they bargained for.

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Cal Clifford, 9, has been obsessed with octopuses since he was about 2 years old, according to “Good Morning America.

“He’s always been infatuated with marine biology, especially octopus. For most birthdays and holidays, he would ask for a pet octopus,” Cal Clifford’s dad Cameron Clifford told People. “We always laughed it off. We’d replace it with a stuffed octopus or a toy octopus, but as time went on, he persisted — over many years. We realized this wasn’t something he was just going to forget.”

Cameron Clifford promised his son that he could get an octopus, so the elder Clifford got a tank and got a mail-order California two-spot octopus that came in a plastic bag, according to “Good Morning America.” The octopus came from a local aquarium in Oklahoma, The Associated Press reported.

The young boy named his pet octopus Terrance, according to the AP.

“We really like to encourage our children’s interests,” Cameron Clifford told the AP. “It’s magical to see a kid embrace their dreams and bring them to fruition. Cal has been infatuated with the natural world and with marine biology since he was very little.”

The whole adventure was captured on a popular TikTok account where Cameron Clifford would narrate the story of Terrance with a fake British accent, the AP reported. It led to thousands of followers on the social media app.

However, weeks after Terrance began settling in, the family realized that the octopus was actually a female who had laid about 50 eggs. According to the AP, the family thought they were unfertilized until octopus babies started to hatch. They were given some clever names, like “Rocket Larry, Squid Cudi, Swim Shady, Jay-Sea and Sea-Yoncé.”

“We were not prepared to take care of so many babies, but at the same time, we were extremely surprised. It’s a rarity, I would say extremely rare in Oklahoma, to breed an octopus. I’ve come to find out it’s been done in other places, but it’s pretty rare to do so domestically,” Cameron Clifford said, according to People.

The baby octopuses that survive will end up staying with the family until they are able to be moved to better suitable homes, People reported.

“Our plan is to re-home them to professional and suitable homes, to get them to people who can obviously take care of them,” Cameron Clifford told People. “We have had great traction with bigger aquariums and research institutions. Some universities have expressed interest in them. And we’ve actually had a few that committed to taking them. The issue is, for now, they’re just too small to be moved anywhere.”

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