Landlord saves lobster from last orders

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LIONEL the 30lb lobster was spared becoming part of a tasty seafood platter after a pub landlord lost his appetite to throw him in the pot.

Mark Little, of the Dolphin, Rock-a-Nore Road, had just taken an order for one of his most popular dishes when he decided to give the giant-clawed crustacean a last minute reprieve.

Pub chef Marcus Bentley had bought Lionel from a local fisherman for £18 and was just about to throw him into the boiling pot when

But when Mark saw its sad eyes he just couldn’t face killing him and decided to take him down the road to the Blue Reef Aquarium instead.

He asked his regulars what to call the lucky lobster and they came up with the name Lionel.

The aquarium accepted Lionel and put him on display in one of their tanks following the kitchen drama on July 26.

It was the second time in a year that Mark has saved a Lobster from the pot and taken it to the aquarium.

“I just couldn’t do it,” said Mark. “He was very much alive when he came into the pub. I saw his sad eyes and I just didn’t have the heart to throw him into the pot.

“It cost me £18 but it was worth it. Sometimes you see something you just feel just doesn’t deserve to be eaten.”

Now Lionel is set to live out the remainder of his life in the safety of the aquarium away from the attentions of would-be predators, Lobster pots and chefs. He could live up to 80 years.

Blue Reef’s Chris Ireland said: “Thanks to his last minute change of heart, Lionel can look forward to many more years of life receiving a regular diet of fish and other tasty treats and safe from danger.

“As a token of our gratitude we’ve offered Mark an open invitation to come and visit Lionel as often as he likes.…Although we’re not sure if his chef will be quite as welcome a visitor to Lionel’s new home.”

Lobsters are among the planet’s oldest inhabitants with fossil remains found dating back more than 100 million years. They are also extremely long-lived with some individuals reaching ages in excess of 80 years. Their claws grow much faster than the rest of its body. In one giant specimen its claws were twice the weight of the rest of the animal. As with most members of the crustacean family, lobsters are also able to re-grow lost limbs and even re-generate missing eyes. The heaviest recorded crustacean is an Atlantic lobster nicknamed ‘Mike’ who was caught in 1934 and tipped the scales at an awesome 19kg.