Fan club for octopus grew as death neared

CLEVELAND (AP) - In her early life, Mama Puddin' made many a child scream "yuck" and "ick."But as the death of the Giant Pacific octopus approached at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, her fan club grew.

As part of Mama Puddin's natural life cycle, last October she laid approximately 50,000 eggs and slowly starved herself to death while protecting them. She died Feb. 1.
The eggs were never fertilized.
Visitors embraced the tentacled tale of motherly love.
While the octopus was still alive, the aquarium staff had to give daily updates to zoo switchboard operators for the many callers.
One 4-year-old regular visitor drew a picture with a note
saying "I love you."
The zoo invited his family to name the new octopus. They chose Juliet, who also died for love.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)