18-Pound Lobster Leroy Gets Dinner Plate Pardon

An 18-pound lobster was given a safe home at the New York Aquarium.

Summer is a dangerous time for lobsters: They tend to end up in stew or rolls, or served whole on a plate with nothing but an accompanying dish of butter.

One two-ton haul of lobster was destined to become food—but after the catch was transferred to a seafood company, an employee took note of a huge, 18-pound lobster within the batch. New England Lobster Co.’s bookkeeper, Jennifer Vargas, discovered that to grow so big, the lobster must be at least 75 years old. “This seemed like a lousy way to go,” she told the New York Daily News.

Vargas’ boss opted to see if there might be a safe home out there for the gargantuan lobster, who’s been nicknamed Leroy. Immediately, the New York Aquarium decided to take him in, and he’ll now have the opportunity to astonish visitors for the rest of his natural life—no butter dish in his future.

Aquarium officials were happy to do a good deed, but are even more pleased with the crowd’s response to the giant animal.

“He radiates a certain charisma,” said Aquarium Director Jon Dohlin, “a crustacean charisma.”