Meet Albert Girther, a sexy senior citizen happily living in retirement in Southern California.
One night in mid-October, Albert got plucked from his home 15 feet under the Pacific Ocean near Anacapa Island by a local fisherman named Forrest Galante, who was night diving for lobster with his buddies.
When Galante brought his catch aboard, everybody was stunned. The scale weighed the Pacific Spiny lobster at 11 pounds, 6 ounces. That put him at 60 to 70 years old.
“I couldn’t kill it,” Galante, 26, tells Southern California Life. “It’s too big, it’s too old. I said to myself: I’m going to let him go.”
But not at first. Galante packed the lobster in a cooler filled with seawater, hauled him home to Santa Barbara, named him Albert Girther, then brought him to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center’s aquarium.
“It was much larger, two to three times bigger than our other lobsters, and it was just absolutely fascinating to see such a large animal,” aquarist Tyler Haven told local TV station KEYT (http://goo.gl/lihBQl).
Big bull lobsters throw their weight around in the wild, and sure enough the littler ones sidled up to him in his tank, paying tribute or looking for protection.
After a couple weeks on display, it was time for Albert to go home. Galante brought him out to the middle of a marine sanctuary where no fisherman can touch him and Albert could live to be 100 and, scientists say, keep on mating.
“I put him in a cave,” says Galante. “He was as happy as a clam — or a lobster.”
For more pictures and a video go to Forrest Galante’s Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/ForrestGalante
Photos courtesy of Forrest Galante