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Waterford - A Connecticut man purchased a 7kg lobster at a Waterford restaurant, then released the 80- to 100-year-old crustacean back into the sea at a spot where it would not be caught again.
Don MacKenzie of Niantic told The Day of New London he knew the lobster, nicknamed “Lucky Larry” by local children, would have to be about 80 years old to reach its size and he felt it deserved to live.
“It takes seven years for him to even become a lobster big enough to keep,” MacKenzie said. “For a lobster to live this long and avoid lobster traps, nets, lobster pots… he doesn’t deserve a bib and butter.”
MacKenzie won’t say how much he paid The Dock restaurant to take Larry off the menu on Tuesday.
“Let’s just say that it’s the most expensive lobster I never ate,” MacKenzie told the newspaper.
He took the lobster back to sea on Tuesday, releasing it in a secret location, where he said it would be almost impossible for fishermen to drag their nets.
“They drag during the day, so if he does venture out of this area, hopefully it will be at night,” said Steve Wilson, who works with MacKenzie at a local marina and helped him set Larry free.
MacKenzie received a send-off from a group of children chanting, “Let Larry live” and the lobster was given a salute from the Niantic River Bridge operator who sounded the lift bridge’s siren as the boat carrying it headed to sea.
Restaurant manager Kristen Eighme said she had spent the weekend holding the lobster for the groups of children who wanted to touch it and take pictures with it. She has the scratches on her arms to prove that she had been cradling it like a baby.
“Battle wounds,” she said, cracking a smile. “The kids loved him. He brought a lot of smiles here this weekend. He was the star of the show.”
Mackenzie kept a memento of the experience, the two thick rubber bands that had been wrapped around Larry’s claws to keep him from pinching anyone. – Sapa-AP