After finding an octopus in the ocean, 20-year-old Seattle man Dylan Mayer received death threats for killing the creature so he could eat it for dinner, the Daily Mail reported.
Mayer told to the news site that he dragged the live octopus from the Pacific Ocean and then killed it so he could use it for his friend's art project and eat it.
Angry divers took pictures of Mayer's find from the Seattle shore, exposing his catch, but he didn't see what the problem was.
Many were in disbelief as he hauled the 30-pound female into the back of his pickup and drove off.
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But the disbelief soon grew into horror when cephalopod lovers saw that Mayer had taken pictures of himself grinning next to the gentle and intelligent creature and posted them on his Facebook page; the diver was then in a position to defend himself.
"As they were coming in you could tell the octopus was alive. It was writhing around and they were wrestling with it," Bob Bailey, who saw Mayer bring the octopus to shore told the Daily Mail.
"It's just not done. It's bad form. Even if you can do it, you shouldn't do it," he said.
Local activists posted Mayer's picture to their website and then urged others to sign a petition to make it illegal to hunt octopi in the Pacific Ocean, the Daily Mail said.
It seems unlikely that such a law would get passed considering they are rarely hunted.
"I eat it for meat. It's no different than fishing. It's just a different animal," said Mayer to KOMO News in Seattle.
'He [his friend] wanted me to get something from nature, so I got an octopus. I caught it, and then these divers came up and started yelling at me. I ignored them and ended up driving away."
As a result, Mayer has been receiving threatening calls and abusive emails, the Daily Mail said.
Octopi are "incredibly intelligent, curious, very playful,' avid diver Drew Collins told the Daily Mail.
The abuse toward Mayer grew when it was reported that the octopus was sitting on a pile of eggs when Mayer captured her.
"That's not true. There were no eggs under it, and we checked," Mayer said. "I even had a game warden come over and look at it, and even they said there was no problem with it."
Octopus fishing is legal in Washington State with a license, but the catch is limited to one a day.