Two octopuses were found washed up on a Ceredigion beach on Monday in the wake of Storm Franklin.
Joshua Pedley and Francesca Fitzpatrick were one of the first people to discover the octopuses on New Quay beach while out for a walk.
Josh, who is a local wildlife guide for SeaMôr Dolphin Watching Boat Trips, said a family was already on the scene when they arrived, but Josh and Fran watched over the pair until dusk, when the tide returned.
“They are a species called Curled Octopus,” Josh explained.
“I don’t know too much about them actually. It was a first for me to see one alive. They are definitely out there in the, it’s just unusual to see them walking on the beach. However, in October 2017 and 2018 they have been recorded on the beach at night.”
While the second octopus made it back to the sea safely, Josh and Fran had to rescue the first one, moving it to a less exposed spot after it drew the attention of a Herring Gull.
But Josh said he and Fran acted in “exceptional circumstances”, and stressed the importance of “interacting with the natural world in a respectful and responsible manner”.
He said: “Fran carefully picked it up to move it. It is worth promoting a look and don’t touch message though. We acted in an exceptional circumstance.
“However, had it been summer, it probably would have been put in a kids bucket and prodded and poked to no end. So we would quite like to promote a message of enjoying wildlife responsibly.
“To our knowledge they made it back to safety, we waited until the tide came back in and they had been safe up until that point. They likely won’t have gone too far out to sea as you would expect to find them in the bay. I have seen a seal eating one from the harbour wall before.”
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