Animal activists held a candlelight vigil Wednesday night outside the home of the director of exhibits at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, where Octavia the octopus was found dead on Monday.
Kathy Yandell, founder of Education and Action for Animals, said the activists were upset because "a magnificent animal was taken from the sea, instead of returned to the ocean. . . . She was so beautiful, so magnificent."
Members of four animal rights groups staged the vigil at the home of Mike Schaadt to call for his resignation in light the death of the octopus. But Schaadt said he would not be home for the protest because he was taking his son to a Little League game.
The red female octopus was found dead in her 600-gallon tank after pulling a drain plug, releasing the water.
Schaadt had said the staff of the San Pedro aquarium on Stephen White Drive did everything it could to save the octopus. "It was near death when we got it," Schaadt said. "It spent three hours on the deck of a boat. It was sold as food, and rather than cut it up, the owner of a fish market bought it and decided it would be a good exhibit, so he donated it to us."