- The Washington Times - Friday, July 29, 2016

A 15-pound lobster that activists “rescued” from a Florida restaurant last week died during its 1,600-mile journey to Maine State Aquarium.

iRescue, an animal activist group, and a team of local residents raised money to free Larry the Lobster after the owner of Tin Fish restaurant in Sunrise called a local news station to show off the lobster’s unusual size. The lobster was estimated to be between 60 and 110 years old, The Associated Press reported.

Larry’s FedEx trip to Maine was supposed to take only one day, but Jeff Nichols, an aquarium spokesman, said the lobster didn’t arrive until nearly a week later, ABC News reported.

Aquarium staff unpacked the lobster and found it dead on Wednesday. It had been packed in a Styrofoam clamshell with seaweed and frozen gel packs.

Amir Rossi, part of the group that rescued Larry, told the Miami Herald that the stress and the time out of water most likely contributed to his death.

“Listen, we’re all disappointed with the situation,” Mr. Rossi said. “We did everything in our control to make sure Larry got to where he needed to be.”

Activist John Merritt told ABC News that he and the team did their best.

“The reason we stepped up to save Larry is because he was originally being exploited for profit and we couldn’t let that happen, and thus our mission [was] to save him and get him back home,” he told ABC News. “We wish we had better news.”

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals criticized the group for not immediately releasing Larry into the ocean.

“Larry’s needless death after efforts were made to save him from being boiled and eaten shows that he should have immediately been released back into his ocean home, not shunted about and shipped like a piece of mail to be held captive in an aquarium,” PETA Vice President Tracy Reiman in a statement Wednesday, the Herald reported.

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