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Old lobster saved from dinner table

NEW YORK --- A 140-year-old lobster once destined for a dinner plate received the gift of life Friday from a Park Avenue seafood restaurant.

George, the 20-pound supercentenarian crustacean, was freed by City Crab and Seafood in New York City.

"We applaud the folks at City Crab and Seafood for their compassionate decision to allow this noble old-timer to live out his days in freedom and peace," said Ingrid E. Newkirk, the president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

PETA spokesman Michael McGraw said the group asked City Crab to return George to the Atlantic Ocean after a diner saw him at the restaurant, where steamed Maine lobster sells for $27 per pound. George had been caught off Newfoundland, Canada, and lived in the tank for about 10 days before his release.

Some scientists estimate lobsters can live to be more than 100 years old. PETA and the restaurant guessed George's age at about 140, using a rule of thumb based on the creature's weight.

Rare bird beaten for trying to eat treat is euthanized

LAGUNA BEACH, CALIF. --- A rare gull that apparently tried to eat a husband and wife's ice cream was euthanized after the man beat the bird with a stick.

Dragan Djuric, 50, of Wichita, Kan., and his wife were eating ice cream New Year's Eve on the boardwalk at Main Beach when a flock of birds attacked them, Laguna Beach police Sgt. Jeff Calvert said.

One bird hit Mr. Djuric's wife in the head and tried to take the ice cream. Mr. Djuric was defecated on.

The couple dropped the frozen food and Mr. Djuric began hitting the birds with a stick, Sgt. Calvert said. One bird -- a rare Heermann's gull -- sustained a broken wing and was later euthanized.

Mr. Djuric was cited and released on suspicion of animal cruelty.

Heermann's gulls are on the Audubon Society's watch list for at-risk birds. The creatures are surprisingly aggressive and steal fish from the pouches of pelicans and chase other birds to take their prey, according to the society's Web site.

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