Image: Large lobster.
Keith Srakocic  /  AP
Bubba, left, a 22-pound lobster pulled from the waters off Nantucket, Mass., is shown in a tank next to an average 1.5 pound lobster at Wholey's fish market in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, a day before he died at the Pittsburgh Zoo.
updated 3/4/2005 8:15:54 AM ET 2005-03-04T13:15:54

A gigantic lobster that may have survived two world wars and Prohibition before being plucked from the ocean will live on — but only as a shell of its former self.

The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium plans to keep the shell of the 22-pound lobster, named Bubba, and use its remains to educate school children, said Rachel Capp, a zoo spokeswoman.

Some of Bubba’s meat will be sent to labs for testing as officials try to determine why Bubba died, Capp said Thursday.

Bubba spent a week at Wholey’s fish market after he was pulled from the waters off Nantucket, Mass. He died Wednesday, after he was moved from the fish market to a quarantine area at the zoo’s aquarium. He was being checked to see if he was healthy enough to make a trip to an aquarium at a Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum.

Randy Goodlett, a marine biologist and former curator and director of the zoo’s Aqua Zoo, said the lobster likely died because something was slightly off in the salt water mixture it was living in. Capp guessed it might have been the stress of being moved so many times.

Based on how long it typically takes a lobster to reach eating size — about five to seven years to grow to a pound — some estimated Bubba was about 100 years old. Marine biologists said 30 to 50 years was more likely.

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