Larry, a 15-pound, 60-to-80-year-old lobster who was saved by animal advocates from being boiled alive for someone’s dinner, died en route to his new home at an aquarium as a result of packaging mistakes and long shipping delays. Larry was in a tank at a Florida seafood restaurant when a patron reserved him for dinner, but before Larry could be cooked, concerned citizens Amir Rossi and John Merritt offered to buy him from restaurant owner Joe Melluso. “They really opened up my eyes,” Melluso said, “and it got me a little emotional. We went ahead and donated the lobster to them.” Larry was FedExed to the Maine State Aquarium and was scheduled to arrive at his destination the following day, but a series of packaging mishaps led to delays, and Larry had to be repackaged several times. He arrived in Maine a week behind schedule, and when aquarium staff finally opened the Styrofoam box filled with saltwater, seaweed, and frozen gel packs, the cold packs had melted, the cooler was warm, and Larry had passed away. Jeff Nichols, a spokesman for the Department of Marine Resources, which operates the aquarium, said that live lobsters have been successfully shipped using this method before, but that “you need to really surround it in gel packs. This container really only had three.”
Photo courtesy of The Daily Astorian
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