Woolwich Baths: Warning after boy’s encounter with blue-ringed octopus in Sydney

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A young boy’s brush with a blue-ringed octopus has prompted a Sydney council to issue an urgent warning ahead of the long weekend.

The incident occurred at Woolwich Baths in the harbour city’s Lower North Shore on Wednesday afternoon.

Hunter Hill’s council issued a public warning the following day, urging visitors and residents to “beware” the highly venomous octopus at the outdoor bath on the Lane Cove River.

The alert came after a member of the public informed the Council that a child “had an encounter” about 2pm, according to Yahoo News.
“Council has installed signage at Woolwich Baths to warn swimmers,” a spokesman told the outlet.

“We always advise people to keep children under active supervision at all times in or around water.”

An Ambulance New South Wales spokesman said the boy was taken to hospital as a precaution but released later the same day.

Blue-ringed octopus are known to live around the Port Jackson Bay, with the Hunter’s Hill council website already warning visitors to Woolwich Baths to exercise caution.

The baths are a shark-netted swimming enclosure, popular among local families.

According to the Australian Institute of Marine Science, blue-ringed octopus only display they namesake iridescent marking when the animal feels threatened.

“The good news for swimmers in the waters where blue-ringed octopuses are found, is that they are retiring creatures and will only bite if they are being harassed and poked,” the organisation’s website states.

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