110-year-old lobster spared the pot at Florida restaurant, will retire to Maine aquarium

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SUNRISE, Fla. — A giant, very old lobster was about to be chowda, but was saved at the last minute so he could live out his “golden years.”

Larry the lobster was caught and brought to the sunrise location of the Tin Fish, a chain in Florida. Owner Joseph Melluso at first was excited about the 15-pounder, knowing it could be several dinners’ worth of meat.

“It’s such an odd occasion to pull out a big lobster,” Melluso said.

Melluso said the lobster was estimated to be about 110 years old. That can be determined by calcified bands on the lobster, as well as weight.

And while Melluso intended to serve the mega-catch, he had a change of heart when others learned of the massive crustacean and wanted to save him.

“When there was a group that wanted to save him, I was disappointed in myself, for not having that feeling myself,” Melluso said.

So he offered to sell Larry to the activists for $300. Four businesses from southern Florida chipped in to rescue Larry, and pay for costs to send him to an aquarium.

So they prepped him for his journey.

“I ran down to the beach, soaked a beach towel in salt water, had to package it, put it in my freezer for the night,” said Brooke Estren, who helped save Larry.  “He’s been around a long time, hopefully, he’ll keep growing, and he’ll enjoy his new home.”

His new home will be at the Maine State Aquarium, where a 17-pound lobster already lives. However, he may eventually be released into the wild.

“It’s something different, that I’m proud of that we did. How many people can actually say that they saved a lobster?” said Amir Rossi, who helped organize the effort to save Larry.

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