This compassionate octopus “whisperer” has changed the way that the New England Aquarium cares for its eight-armed residents.
84-year-old Wilson Menashi has been volunteering at the aquarium for 25 years and logged over 8,000 volunteer hours. He started volunteering at the facility after he retired from his career as an engineer and decided to pursue his passion for fish and the ocean.
A large portion of his volunteer hours have been spent caring for the aquarium’s octopuses. In addition to becoming the first volunteer to ever touch an octopus, Menashi has created deep bonds of trust and affection with his cephalopod companions.
When he noticed that the octopuses weren’t getting the entertainment that they needed, he used his background in engineering to create puzzles and toys for the intelligent sea critters to solve.
Menashi has become such an integral part of the aquarium’s team, he and 1,000 other volunteers were honored at a dinner that was held by the facility earlier this week.
But judging by the way he interacts with the octopuses, the real honor for Menashi is being able to befriend such clever and affectionate animals.
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