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Claws goes to butter reward

His name was Claws. For years, he survived in the deep sea off Prince Edward Island in Canada, scavenging for food from the briny bottom. But recently, Claws _ a hefty 10-pound lobster _ was snatched from his Canadian haven and flown to Hudson, where he was to be a drawing card for a small business. However, that was not to be.

Wednesday morning, business owners Jerry and Eileen Korr found Claws _ this survivor, this attraction, this lobster _ dead in his tank.

"I felt terrible," Eileen Korr said. "I dreamt about lobster all last night. I wanted him to make it."

Claws, a North American lobster, was delivered Tuesday to Sunshine Fish Markets of Hudson. Although he was for sale, owners figured he would be around for a while and attract some attention for the 4-week-old business, said Jerry Korr.

The lobster apparently was not able to adjust to his new environment, Korr said. When Claws was brought in Tuesday, he had to be hand-fed, he said.

"He really should be in his natural habitat," Korr said. "The flight was not good for him."

Korr said he is no stranger to considerable crustaceans. In his other seafood market on Long Island, he had sold some lobsters of 10 pounds and more, he said.

A lobster that size is a bit unusual, said Jay Krouse, chairman of the lobster and crab fisheries of the Maine Department of Marine Resources. Lobsters found in the deep sea, such as Claws, average about 3 pounds, and it is not uncommon to find some that are 7 or 8 pounds, he said. At 10 pounds, Claws was a

good find.

"He was successful staying out of harm's way to attain this size," Krouse said. "But his hunger for bait .

.

. may have caused his demise."

It's difficult to determine how old Claws was. Korr maintains that Claws was 65 years old, based on his weight. But Krouse said determining age isn't that easy.

"Unfortunately it is the nemesis of the profession," he quipped. "There is no known way to tell what the age of a lobster. We can, however, make an educated guess."

Krouse's educated guess is that Claws was 20 years old.

Sunshine Fish Market plans to continue selling large lobsters, despite Claws' untimely demise. Currently, the tank is filled with a variety of lobsters, including a seven-pounder. And they have sold fairly well, Korr said.

As for Claws, his death was not a total loss. As his frozen body lay in the display window, a woman walked into the store and decided to treat herself. So $80 and 40 minutes of boiling later, Claws became part of an extravagant dinner.

But Mrs. Korr was just a little sentimental.

"It's a shame he died," she said. "Customers thought he was incredible."

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