WATERFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) – When he first heard rumblings about Larry the Lobster, Don MacKenzie thought folks were talking about some guy dressed up in a lobster suit.

WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau On The Story

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But no, they were talking about a real live lobster, WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau reported.

It was a 17-pound whopper sitting in a tank at The Dock, a local restaurant in Waterford.

It was named “Lucky Larry” by local children.

“I’m from Maine. I could not believe the size of this thing,” MacKenzie told Schneidau.

He went to the restaurant, negotiated a price, bought the lobster, and put it in his boat, took it out to sea, and released it Tuesday.

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“It’s the most expensive lobster I ever paid for that I didn’t eat,” he said, but he wouldn’t say exactly how much he paid.

He felt the nearly 100-year-old crustacean did not deserve to die with its parts soaked in butter.

“If he was 100, he saw World War I, World War II, man on the moon,” he said. “Being in New England, he even saw the Red Sox win the World Series. So, he didn’t deserve the boiling water.”

Where the lobster was released is, not surprisingly, being kept a secret.

MacKenzie’s only souvenirs are the huge rubber bands taken from Larry’s claws.

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