Larry the Lobster lives another day, thanks to a group of rescuers who saved the 15-pound crustacean from ending up on Florida diners' plates, the Miami Herald reports. Even more astounding: Although figuring out a lobster's age is an inexact science, the owner of the restaurant that acquired Larry estimates, based on the lobster's growth indicators, that the crustacean is about 110 years old. Tin Fish owner Joe Melluso tells ABC News that the lobsters he buys from vendors usually top out at 5 pounds. A picture of Larry circulated on social media, and a family reserved him for Tuesday night's dinner—until a group of other locals caught wind. Real estate lawyer Brooke Estren and friends pitched in $300 to buy him, plus shipping costs to send him to the Maine State Aquarium, where he'll be examined and either housed permanently or put back in the sea.
The group wrapped Larry in a saltwater-soaked towel, packed him in a special shipping container, and mailed him to Maine Wednesday. "If you're going to live 110 years, you deserve to live and not be someone's dinner," Estren tells the Herald. And even though Larry may not be quite as ancient as Melluso guessed he is (the executive director of Maine's Lobster Institute pegs him as probably somewhere between 60 to 80 years old), the restaurant owner got "choked up" contemplating all the effort put into saving the lucky lobster, the Herald notes. "My whole life's been about fish and seafood," Melluso says. "[Larry's rescuers are] looking to protect and serve the species in a responsible way. I should be thinking like that." (A rare split-colored lobster was caught off the Maine coast last year.)