It was supposed to be the Great Escape. Animal-rights activists in Florida sought to prevent a 15-pound lobster from getting eaten by shipping it to an aquarium in Maine, where the creature, Larry, would live out his golden years in peace and tranquility.
Now, the lobster is dead. And there are many unanswered questions.
According to the Washington Post, Larry was first purchased by the Tin Fish restaurant in Florida. Thought to be more than 100 years old, Larry caught the attention of the local iRescue animal-rights group (always a good sign: when your animal-rights group sounds like an unauthorized iPhone repair service). Experts later guessed Larry’s age to be between 60 and 80 years. Regardless: old!
The group raised money to send Larry up the coast to the West Boothbay Harbor aquarium, but the voyage — supposed to take a day — took about a week. Larry died en route, though exactly who is to blame is up in the air. Is it the shipping company, or is it the rescue group that inadequately prepped Larry for his final journey? (Larry was originally supposed to travel via FedEx, but apparently his storage container leaked and the shippers refused.)
“You need to really surround it in gel packs. This container really only had three,” Jeff Nichols, a spokesman for the Department of Marine Resources, told the Portland Press Herald.
Larry is not the first animal to die this year as a symptom of aggressive rescue efforts. Earlier this year, a baby bison in Yellowstone died after casual observers thought it looked cold.
Rest in peace, Larry. You were a large lobster and now you’re dead.