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MORRO BAY, CA (CBS Local) – A massive 70-pound octopus lives to see another day after a California fish market decided to let the creature return to the ocean.

Fred, a mollusk caught in a crab trap, was brought to a dock manager at Giovanni’s Fish Market. Unlike other fish markets, the owner of Giovanni’s had a special place in his heart for the eight-armed delicacy. “It’s just been a culmination of events through the last 10 years,” Giovanni DeGarimore said, via The Tribune.

DeGarimore says his attitude about selling and eating octopus changed after an encounter with a sea creature near Fiji. “Essentially, we played a game of hide and seek for 15 minutes under the ocean.” The fish market owner added that recent studies into the intelligence of the species has motivated him to take them off the menu.

Fred, who was given a culinary pardoning by DeGarimore, spent a few days in the Morro Bay market before finally being taken back to the Pacific Ocean. DeGarimore reportedly paid a “couple hundred dollars” to buy Fred from the crab fisherman, just to give him a new lease on life. “It’ll hit me in the pocket, but I’d rather stand for something.”

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