By carrying that coconut, octopuses of this sort made a change in their legal status necessary.
The extent of octopus intelligence is debated, at least among vertebrates, but there is evidence of pretty complex behavior, including possible tool use. See, e.g., J.K. Finn, T. Tregenza, and M.D. Norman, “Defensive tool use in a coconut-carrying octopus,” 19 Current Biology 1069 (2009). The evidence was enough to convince the UK to grant protection to the common octopus (Octopus vulgaris) in 1993, thus ironically granting it a certain elite status.
That discrimination ended in 2010, however, when the EU enacted a broader directive that let the other octopuses and even squid into the club:
In addition to vertebrate animals including cyclostomes, cephalopods should also be included in the scope of this Directive, as there is scientific evidence of their ability to experience pain, suffering, distress and lasting harm. [Therefore, t]his Directive shall apply to the following animals: (a) live non-human vertebrate animals [and] (b) live cephalopods.
They are calling it an “honorary vertebrate,” which sounds rather like a demotion to me. Can we instead declare people to be honorary cephalopods? Thank you, that would be awesome.