A massive lobster more than half a century old has been saved from the cooking pot – by a fish monger.
The colossal crustacean, which tips the scales at a whopping 4.5 kilogrammes, was landed off the coast of Devon and destined for export to a Spanish kitchen.
But a kind-hearted fish merchant deemed him too old and to special to eat and donated him to Bristol Aquarium.
With claws as big as human hands, Patrick the giant lobster will spend its remaining years in the aquarium’s huge native marine display tank.
Curator Dan de Castro said: “Patrick is a truly impressive specimen.
“In spite of his age and his size the lobster appears to be in truly excellent condition.
“His claws are so large that he can hardly hold them up when he is out of the water and you need to be careful when you handle him.
“There are many lobster-sized hiding places in the display and he will be able to live out the remainder of his days in very comfortable surroundings, with a regular supply of fresh food and be forever safe from the pot.”
The majority of lobsters landed at Plymouth harbour are transported live to Spain, where they are destined for the cooking pot.
Lobsters are also extremely long-lived with some individuals reaching ages in excess of 60 years.
The impressive Patrick would look tiny compared to the biggest ever lobster caught – an Atlantic lobster named Mike tipped the scales at almost 20kg when he was caught in 1934.