You may have caught mention earlier this week of Larry the Lobster, the crustacean who became a cause célèbre when animal activists mounted a campaign to spare him from being boiled and served at a Sunrise, Florida restaurant. The 15-pound lobster was purchased from a Maine seafood supplier by Tin Fish proprietor Joe Melluso and was slated to be served up before activists from the non-profit iRescue group intervened. Melluso, touched by the outpouring of support for the catch, allowed Larry to be shipped to the Maine State Aquarium.
Despite their best intentions, Larry’s fate seemed predestined: He died during shipment.
The Press Herald reported Wednesday that Larry’s journey was difficult from the start. FedEx, which was called upon to deliver Larry from Florida to Maine, initially refused to pick up the package when it was found to be leaking. iRescue staff then re-packed Larry under guidance from the aquarium, using Styrofoam and gel packs to keep the lobster cool and composed during transit.
All seemed well until Larry arrived in Maine, where it was found that his shipping container had become a coffin. (To be sure, employees poked him in the eye, which didn’t yield a response.) Aquarium spokesman Jeff Nichols told the Press Herald that Larry probably needed more than the three gel packs that were used. He may also have been originally caught in Canada, meaning Larry had already experienced a bit of jet lag before his last trip.
The lobster was believed to be at least 100 years old. Owing to the attention surrounding Larry’s story, it’s unlikely a delicious autopsy will be performed.