SUNRISE, Fla., July 23 (UPI) -- A 15-pound lobster that was intended to be served at a Florida restaurant will instead be transported to an aquarium in Maine due to the work of an animal rescue group.
Joe Melluso of the Tin Fish restaurant had planned to cook the massive crustacean, but was willing to let it go after John Merritt from iRescue and another group of passionate animal lovers stepped forward.
"When there was a group that wanted to save him, I was disappointed in myself for not having that feeling myself," Melluso told WPLG.
Melluso told the Miami Herald that he was skeptical when his seafood supplier informed him of the 15-pound lobster, which is estimated to be between 105 and 110 years old, but could not pass up on the opportunity to serve it at his restaurant.
"You can pull in hundreds of thousands of pounds [of lobster] and never see a lobster this size," he said.
When Amir Rossi saw a Facebook post about the massive lobster he gathered his friends Erik Martinez and Brooke Estren and contacted iRescue Wildlife, Inc. founder John Merritt in hopes of saving the crustacean from its buttery fate.
"In probably about a half an hour, we decided we were going to do this," Rossi said.
Merritt gathered funds from several Florida businesses and a donation from a Maryland woman named Vicki Brewer, to have the lobster shipped from the restaurant to the Maine State Aquarium, where it would continue life as Larry the Lobster.
Rossi, Martinez, Estern and Melluso worked together to properly package Larry for his journey, placing him in a styrofoam cooler, wrapped in a towel and surrounded by ice packs.
Once Larry arrives in Maine the aquarium will decide whether to release him or add him to their lobster exhibit alongside another 17-pound lobster.