21-pound lobster released to New England Aquarium (UPDATE)

Eric Pfeiffer
The Sideshow

UPDATE (5:52EST): I spoke on the phone with the woman who won the lobster raffle. She has asked to remain anonymous but passed along some details about where the lobster was released. Contrary to earlier reports, the lobster was not released back into the ocean but has instead been donated to the New England Aquarium in Boston.

The woman who won the drawing is originally from New England but now lives in Tennessee. She was moved by stories indicating that the lobster could end up as food and spent $600 of her own money on raffle tickets.

"My plan was always to donate the lobster to the Aquarium was to generate awareness and allow people to see the creature, and of course, to keep the lobster from being trapped again and, this time, ending up on someone's dinner table," she told Yahoo! News. "The only thing I requested from the Aquarium was a chance to see the lobster when I visit Boston on August 6th and they were kind enough to grant my request."

And for the record, the lobster has not been named. Apparently, the New England Aquarium typically avoids the practice, but don't be surprised if this lucky lobster defies the odds once again.


Original story begins below:

A very large lobster caught off the coast of Cape Cod, Mass., didn't break any records, but he also won't be served up as dinner. Last week, the lobster's fate remained unknown as the 21-pound crustacean sat on display at Capt'n Elmer's restaurant, waiting to be sold in a raffle.

However, CBS Boston reports that after an "outpouring of concern," the restaurant has decided it did not want to "allow the future of this noble lobster to be determined by chance."

There was some hope that the lobster would be released when restaurant manager Elise Costa said, "Often when we have lobsters this large, people come in to catch them, and they like to release them, which is kinda cool."

Instead of leaving the lobster's fate up to the eventual drawing winner, the restaurant will instead offer 21 pounds of smaller lobsters to the winner of Sunday's drawing, or the chance to participate in the lobster's release back into the wild.

It's been an unusual season for lobsters. A number of unusually colored lobsters have been caught in recent months, including six orange lobsters in one June catch. The orange lobsters are said to be a 1-in-10-million occurrence. Also in June, a rare blue lobster was caught off the shore of Canada.

Read more about the drawing, the proceeds of which will be donated to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.