Wilson Menashi octopus whisperer, friend of the sea creatures.
Wilson Menashi, an 84-year-old man who’s known as the “octopus whisperer” at the Boston-based attraction.
Wilson Menashi, who’s “armed with affection” for the aquarium’s octopuses, including Freya and Professor Ludwig Von Drake, is a long-time friend of the sea creatures. Menashi, who retired from his chemical engineering job and started volunteering at the aquarium 25 years ago, has spent over 7,000 hours caring for the octopods.
“I have been able to connect with them from the beginning. I do not know why,” Menashi told the Associated Press. “I cannot explain it, but I can connect with them.”
Working with the octopuses isn’t an easy task either: Wilson Menashi, whose volunteer work includes designing puzzle boxes for the octopuses, rubbing their backs, and gently stimulating their arms, has to have a lot of patience and cater to each animal’s needs.
Freya, who has 2,240 suction cups, is a 3-year-old octopus who weighs almost 40 pounds and has an arm span of 14 feet, which could easily kill a shark. However, she’s very calm with Menashi, who often feeds her fish treats.
The octopuses also leave their marks of love as well. Menashi jokingly told the Associated Press that he often comes homes with “hickeys” on his neck and arms. However, they’re always 10 to 15 marks in a line next to each other, and his wife knows about his time with the octopuses at the aquarium.