May 22, 2016 2:22 PM

New England Aquarium names giant octopus for NH author

HANCOCK - A giant Pacific octopus at Boston's New England Aquarium has been named for a local author.

The Union-Leader reports the octopus was named "Sy" for author Sy Montgomery, whose recent book "The Soul of an Octopus" was a 2015 finalist for the National Book Award.

Montgomery was thrilled with the honor. "When I found out, I cried," she told The Union-Leader.

Montgomery recently met Sy, who was captured in the wild just a few weeks before she came to New England Aquarium. Montgomery offered the octopus some fish on a "grabber," but the animal grabbed her arm instead. "She pulled and pulled me and almost pulled me in," she said.

Tony LaCasse, spokesman for New England Aquarium - and a New Hampshire native - said naming the new octopus after Montgomery was "an absolute no-brainer."

Montgomery had visited the aquarium regularly for about a year while researching "The Soul of an Octopus," and the center's work and animals feature prominently in it, he said. "Sy's energy and her enthusiasm around that particular animal ... got us even more excited about these animals," he said.

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