Photo in the News: Monster Lobster Pardoned

Photo: Picture of big lobster
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March 2, 2005—Don't bother trying to butter up Bubba. He's already got it made.

Yesterday the 22-pound (10-kilogram) lobster had his sentence commuted by Bob Wholey, owner of Wholey's seafood market in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Caught between the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the People for Eating Tasty Animals, Wholey decided to send the crotchety crustacean (estimated to be at least 50 years old) to a peaceful retirement in an aquarium at the Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

At 21 inches (53 centimeters) from nose to tail tip, Bubba makes the average-size (1.5-pound/0.7-kilogram) adult lobster in the photo look positively shrimpy. But he's not exactly the king of the sea.

Caught off eastern Canada in 1977, the biggest lobster ever recorded weighed in at 44 pounds (20 kilograms) and stretched to 41 inches (106 centimeters). And as recently as 2001, a London chef spared Barney, a 41-inch (96-centimeter) lobster trapped off southwestern England.

UPDATE, March 3, 2005—Bubba the lobster died yesterday in an aquarium at the Pittsburgh Zoo. At the zoo he was being examined to determine whether he was fit enough for the trip to the South Carolina museum that was to be his new home. The cause of death is not yet known, but Bob Wholey has suggested that the stress of the journey from his seafood market to the zoo is to blame.

—Ted Chamberlain

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