The attack only lasted 53 seconds as the deep-sea creature dragged the bird under near the Ogden Point breakwater in Victoria
Ginger Morneau was just taking a stroll along the water in Victoria when she saw a Giant Pacific octopus devour a seagull.
Morneau, her husband and her brother all watched as the octopus violently hugged the bird and pulled it under the water next to the Ogden Point breakwater in March.
She couldn't believe what she was seeing so she grabbed her camera and got some shots. The story and photos were first published by the BirdFellow Journal and are now going viral.
"From start to finish, from first photo to the last, there were 53 seconds that elapsed," said Morneau to The Canadian Press. "The struggle itself was really surreal in that it was quiet. You heard the sound of the water and nothing else."
She was standing only about three metres above the attack and while she wondered if someone was going to save the gull, she wasn't able to attempt a rescue.
"Realistically, that octopus was too daunting," she said to The Canadian Press. "You get those little images in your mind of getting grabbed by the octopus yourself and pulled in. They're very primitive, intimidating creatures up close."
"It is the unknown. It is the murky depth. It comes up from down below," she said to Global News. "It broke barriers. It broke the element of sea and air. It broke the rules."
The Giant Pacific octopus is arguably the largest octopus species with adults weighing about 15 kilograms and an arm span of more than four metres. They usually prey upon shrimp, crabs, scallops and other fish and live about three to five years.
"It was really sad at that (final) moment," she said to The Canadian Press. "For as wonderful as nature is, nature can be deadly."
(Photo from Ginger Morneau's Facebook page)