By VERENA DOBNIK, Associated Press Writer Verena Dobnik, Associated Press Writer – Sat Jan 10, 2:05 am ET
NEW YORK – A 140-year-old lobster once destined for a dinner plate received the gift of life Friday from a Park Avenue seafood restaurant.
George, the 20-pound supercentenarian crustacean, was freed by City Crab and Seafood in New York City.
"We applaud the folks at City Crab and Seafood for their compassionate decision to allow this noble old-timer to live out his days in freedom and peace," said Ingrid E. Newkirk, president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
PETA spokesman Michael McGraw said the group asked City Crab to return George to the Atlantic Ocean after a diner saw him at the restaurant, where steamed Maine lobster sells for $27 per pound. George had been caught off Newfoundland, Canada and lived in the tank for about 10 days before his release.
Some scientists estimate lobsters can live to be more than 100 years old. PETA and the restaurant guessed George's age at about 140, using a rule of thumb based on the creature's weight.
He was to be released Saturday near Kennebunkport, Maine, in an area where lobster trapping is forbidden.