Maine State Aquarium Urged to Release 110-Year-Old Lobster Back Into Ocean

PETA Asks Facility to Let Elderly Crustacean Live Out His Golden Years at Sea, Not Held Captive on Display

For Immediate Release:
July 21, 2016

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

West Boothbay Harbor, Maine – Hot on the heels of the Maine State Aquarium’s acquisition of a 110-year-old lobster named Larry, PETA sent a letter this morning to the facility calling for the old-timer to be released back into the ocean that he called home for over a century. In its letter, PETA notes that the aquarium previously returned a 27-pound lobster, Rocky, to the sea in 2012 and that lobsters, like dolphins and many other animals, use complicated signals to explore their surroundings and establish social relationships. They also take long-distance seasonal journeys, traversing 100 miles or more each year.

“Lobsters are smart, unique individuals who feel pain and suffer in captivity,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on the Maine State Aquarium to let this elderly crustacean live out his golden years in freedom and peace.”

According to invertebrate zoologist Dr. Jaren G. Horsley, lobsters have a “sophisticated nervous system” and feel “a great deal of pain” when they are cut open. When dropped into scalding water, they whip their bodies wildly and scrape the sides of the pot in a desperate attempt to escape. And because lobsters do not enter a state of shock when they’re hurt, they’re believed to feel every moment of their slow, painful deaths when they are cooked alive—a practice that researcher Gordon Gunter described in the journal Science as “torture.”

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind