GISH.com is a fantastic scavenger hunt for charity & does great work. However, GISH missed the mark with item #137 on their list this year & it should be removed: "Let an octopus use your GoPro."
While they did note that the octopus shouldn't be harmed, there are still problems. Emailing GISH Support hasn't helped so it's time for a petition.
Here's why this task should be removed whether a wild octopus is used or one that is in captivity:
1. People can accidentally harm an octopus.
2. An octopus can bite. While most bites aren't serious, they can cause pain, numbness, & swelling. They can also get infected.
3. Touching marine life makes the animals more vulnerable to disease by damaging the protective/anti-bacterial mucus layer on the animal's skin. Even if you don't touch the octopus directly, having the octopus touch your GoPro means it can come into contact with harmful bacteria on your device.
4. This encourages inappropriate interaction with all wild animals which could lead to disastrous results.
5. Photos with wildlife are getting more & more popular, & it can cost the lives of animals. Often, marine life are pulled out of the sea for pictures. Stress, lack of water, and/or heat from the sun are easy killers for some marine animals.
6. This activity could stress the octopus making it more vulnerable to predators.
7. Showcasing a wild animal "performing" sets a precedence that animals are there just for our amusement.
8. Wildlife aren't pets & shouldn't be treated as such.
9. Showcasing videos playing with an octopus could lead more people to play with an octopus.
Please sign the petition to ask GISH to remove this item from this year's scavenger hunt helping to prevent harm to both people & marine life. (Even if GISH doesn't do so, perhaps all of the signatures on here will make people re-think doing this item for GISH or in general. In addition, it may also help prevent GISH from using an item like this for next year's GISH.)