At this time a month ago, Leroy was living the life of a typical North Atlantic lobster. The only difference was that he was living large… very large. The 75-year-old lobster tipped the scales at 18 lbs, more than 9 times the size of the usual lobster found on a dinner plate.
After living in obscurity for 75 years, Leroy got his big break when he was caught by a fisherman off the coast of New Brunswick3 along with several other lobsters. The unnamed fisherman’s catch was shipped off to San Francisco, where he ultimately arrived at the New England Lobster Company.2
At first, it seemed as though poor Leroy was destined to become the dinner of somebody with a serious appetite. His fortunes reversed however when New England Lobster employee Jennifer Vargas spotted him and saw the sad look upon his face. “I looked at him really close and he looked scared to me. I was thinking that he’d escaped being caught for so long and now someone’s going to cook him. What an awful way to go”3, Vargus remarked. After pleading with her boss, Vargas convinced him to spare Leroy and to try to find a home for him.
After an extensive search, the New England Lobster Company decided that the New York Aquarium at Coney Island would be the best home for the mammoth crustacean. He was packed up in a special protective container and shipped to New York the very next day. Vice President and Director of the Aquarium Jon Dohlin was quoted as saying, “When we saw that ad for an 18-lb lobster we knew we had to have it. He’s a magnificent creature that has been delighting our visitors since his arrival.”1
Since moving into his new home, Leroy has taken to consuming nearly a pound of fresh shrimp every day and continues to grow, as lobsters do for as long as they live. Being that a typical lobster that is
consumed by humans generally weighs between 1 and 2 lbs, Leroy is truly a king among lobsters – a king who is now safe and guaranteed to live out the rest of his reign in comfort and peace.
1. Sinclair, Jessica
18-lb Lobster Saved From Pot and Gets Home at New York Aquarium
Long Island Press August 18, 2011
2. Bush, Daniel
Maine Lobster Retires to Coney Island
The Brooklyn Paper August 23, 2011
3. Boswell, Randy
Lobster Fit for a King Escapes Pot for a King’s Life in New York
Vancouver Sun August 22, 2011