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Man Buys 80-Year-Old Lobster From Restaurant Tank To Set It Free

Larry the Lobster

After about 80 years of livin’ large as a free man in the sea, Lucky Larry, a 17-pound lobster, found himself in the live-lobster case at the Dock restaurant in Waterford, Connecticut. Lucky for Larry (see what I did there?), Don MacKenzie, VP of Boats Inc., spent an undisclosed amount to reserve Larry for dinner, or rather to keep him alive so he could release him back into Long Island Sound.

MacKenzie estimates Larry to be at least 80 years of age, but he could be as old as 100 based on his size and how often he has shed his shell. All he has said about the price he paid is that Larry was “the most expensive lobster I never ate.”

At the Dock’s fish market, live lobsters cost $9.99 a pound for a 1.25-pounder, $10.99 a pound for 1.5 pounds, and $11.99 a pound for a 2-pounder. This means 7-pound Larry cost a minimum of $200, but probably much more given these circumstances.

“This lobster has seen World War 1, World War II, seen the landing on the moon and the Red Sox win the World Series,” MacKenzie told ABC News. “He’s made it this far in life, he deserves to live.” He also said it takes 7 years for a lobster to grow big enough to eat, so it’s pretty amazing that Larry avoided getting caught until now.

Apparently Larry’s old man skin would have been tough to eat (and would probably taste like Bengay, anyway) and nobody wants to eat an old lobster because it doesn’t have the tender, juicy flakiness of a good piece of meat.

Larry enjoyed a safe sendoff in a top-secret location in the Sound, where he will (supposedly) be free from the nets of the fishing trade. Children who visited him at the Dock chanted as he headed out to be released into the ocean, and the Niantic River Bridge operator sounded the opening and closing siren in his honor. MacKenzie kept his claw rubberbands as a memento. Somebody get me a tissue!

How much do you think he had to pay to keep Larry alive?

Image: Lucky Larry, from The Dock’s Facebook page

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