This paper extends recent work that has called for greater attention to be paid to nonhuman difference. The burgeoning animal geographies literature has been very successful in dissecting the concept of 'nature' and in examining the myriad ways in which animal and human lives are intertwined. However, its focus is more often on collectivities, such as species and herds, than on individual animals. Through the brief case study of an octopus in The Deep, an aquarium in Kingston-upon-Hull, UK, the paper draws on and develops recently promoted notions of responsible anthropomorphism. It argues that future work might usefully pay greater attention to the lived experience of individual animals, and that further emphasis should be given to non-mammalian life forms. Doing so might not only shed light on these creatures' encounters with humans, but also help to give a greater sense of their lives beyond these direct encounters, challenging understandings of what it means to be 'animal'.
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|Published - 31 Oct 2011