Inky the octopus has escaped the National Aquarium of New Zealand in Napier by squeezing through a gap in its tank and making off towards Hawke's Bay.
Aquarium staff believe Inky escaped at night by squeezing through a tiny gap at the top of its tank before sliding across the aquarium floor into the sea via 50m long drainpipe.
In addition to being considered intelligent, octopuses are able to squeeze down to the size of their mouths - roughly the size of a parrot's beak.
National Aquarium manager Rob Yarrell said: "He managed to make his way to one of the drain holes that go back to the ocean and off he went - didn't even leave us a message.
"Even quite a large octopus, they can squeeze down to the size of their mouth which is the only really hard part of their body."
Describing the size of Inky's mouth, Mr Yarrell said: "It's a beak, very much like a parrot beak.
"They are always exploring and they are great escape artists."
Inky was donated to the aquarium in 2014 by fishermen who caught him in a crayfish pot. He had shared the tank with one other octopus.
Mr Yarrell has said the remaining octopus remaining will now be under close watch.
Independent News Service