Lucky Larry. (Photo courtesy of The Dock’s Facebook page.)

After 80 to 100 years of life presumably full of whatever passes for adventure to a giant insect, Larry the lobster hit rock bottom and wound up in the live-lobster case at the Dock restaurant in Waterford, Conn. It’s so tragic when our elders lack social support. Fortunately, Larry got spotted by boat company VP Don MacKenzie, who appointed himself the big guy’s benefactor. MacKenzie reserved the 17-pound Larry for dinner, then spent an undisclosed amount to release him uneaten into the Long Island Sound.

MacKenzie is being coy about how much he spent for the giant crustacean, whose age he estimates as being at least 80 based on Larry’s size and how often he’s molted. He’s disclosed only that Larry was “the most expensive lobster I never ate.” But live lobsters at the Dock’s fish market cost $9.99 per pound for a 1.25-pounder, $10.99 per pound for 1.5 pounds, and $11.99 per pound for 2-pound lobsters. By those numbers, a 17-pound lobster would cost at least $200, and possibly much, much more.

Larry probably would have been too tough to eat, although MacKenzie released him out of respect rather than gustatory choice. “This lobster has seen World War I, World War II, seen the landing on the moon and the Red Sox win the World Series. He’s made it this far in life,” he said, according to ABC News. “He deserves to live.” We’d be willing to bet the cost of Larry’s freedom that he did not have access to a TV in 1969, but whatever, the point is that nobody wants to eat an old lobster, because it’s depressing and tastes bad.

Here is high-quality video of MacKenzie and Larry’s life together from now on:

Okay, not really; Larry has actually been dropped in a top-secret location in the Sound, where he will supposedly be safe from fishermen. He had a big sendoff, including chanting from the children who used to visit him at the Dock. MacKenzie himself kept no memento of Larry but the rubber bands from his claws. Sniff.