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Large Lobster Gets Second Chance at Life

A very large lobster caught near the Channel Islands was saved from the dinner plate thanks to a soft-hearted fisherman and the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center.

Local resident Forrest Galante caught the nearly 12-pound Pacific Spiny lobster near Anacapa Island in the middle of the night.

Galante named him Albert Girther and took him home.

But the next morning Albert was still alive and well.

Galante said he had a change of heart.

“There was just no way I could kill it for a one time meal so I rushed him to the sea center where they marveled at the size of him, quickly accepted him and put him into the tank,” Galante said.

At the Sea Center, Albert flourished and attracted crowds.

“It was much larger, two to three times bigger than our other lobsters and it was just absolutely fascinating for people to see such a large animal,” said aquarist Tyler Haven.

Based on its size, Albert was estimated to be 60 to 70 years old.

Haven said large lobsters like Albert should be left in the wild because they are the most fertile and the protectors of the smaller lobsters.

“The best course of action is to leave that animal there. You can come back year after year and have the best chance of that population remaining stable,” Haven said.

According to Haven, while Albert was in the Sea Center, the smaller lobsters flocked to him, standing underneath and beside him so he could keep the other animals away.

After a few weeks at the Sea Center, Galante picked Albert up and took him to an undisclosed marine sanctuary in the Channel Islands so he could live the rest of his life in peace.

Some scientists estimate lobsters can live to be up to 100 years old.

Galante is an avid adventurer. He’s appeared on Discovery Channel’s reality show “Naked and Afraid”.

This wasn’t his first wild encounter in the Channel Islands. Galante also went swimming with a hammerhead shark and documented the swim on video.

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