Monday, January 12

Extraordinary Animal Stories

George the 140-Year-Old Lobster

Extraordinary Animal Stories

© Sara McGrath

Jan 10, 2009

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals championed for George the 140-year-old lobster's freedom, and won! He was released back into the ocean off the coast of Maine.

A tank in the City Crab and Seafood restaurant in New York had been home to George, a 140-year-old, twenty-pound lobster, for about two weeks.

City Crab and Seafood purchased George the Giant Lobster for $100 after he was caught off Newfoundland, Canada. He was adopted as the restaurant mascot as a tourist attraction and was made available for photos with patrons. It was a restaurant patron who notified PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) of the lobster's confinement.

PETA estimated George's age based on his weight, calculated by multiplying every pound he weighed by seven. If the estimate is correct, the lobster would have been born around 1869, the same year as Mahatma Gandhi.

In PETA's press release regarding their petition for George's release, they made note of a similar incident involving Bubba, a 100-year-old lobster who was caught off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts in 2005. Bubba died after only one week in captivity in an aquarium in Pittsburgh. Bubba had been destined for a tank in a Ripley's Believe it or Not museum.

The City Crab and Seafood restaurant initially denied PETA's request to release George, the elderly crustacean, back into the Atlantic Ocean. However, the restaurant had a change of heart and agreed to release the lobster in an area off the coast of Maine where lobster trapping is banned. George was released in a rocky cove in Kennebunkport near the summer home of former President George H.W. Bush.

All states in the US impose a minimum legal size for keeping lobsters, but the state of Maine also imposes a maximum legal size of five inches carapace length. The carapace is the main body section of the lobster excluding the tail.

According to PETA, because a lobster has a sophisticated nervous system and high sensitivity to pain, live lobster boiling is illegal in some cities, such as Reggio, Italy. PETA also pointed out that lobsters are sensitive to water quality and easily die if too much waste is secreted in their environment. Therefore, tank life for a lobster can be precarious.

"We never intended him to be sold," said Keith Valenti, manager of City Crab and Seafood, "just draw attention to the restaurant, and he did." However, he added that it was a "no brainer" to return the giant lobster to the ocean.

"We applaud the folks at City Crab and Seafood for their compassionate decision to allow this noble old-timer to live out his days in freedom and peace," said Ingrid E. Newkirk, president of PETA.

1 comment:

  1. Thank God, they allowed this noble old-timer to live out his days in freedom and peace.Swim away George! Swim, noble old-timer!


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