Giant crab ‘miraculously’ survives five days in refrigerator, finds new home at UK aquarium

Image showing 'Santa Claws' the edible giant crab is courtesy of Bristol Aquarium

Image showing ‘Santa Claws’ the edible giant crab is courtesy of Bristol Aquarium

A giant crab hauled from its home waters off Dartmouth, England, has been named “Santa Claws” because its survival story is regarded as somewhat of a Christmas season miracle.

The colossal crustacean, with hand-sized claws and a 9-inch shell, was captured by a fisherman who decided to deliver the delectable critter to a sick friend, as a get-well present.

Edible crabs, also called brown crabs, are a fine gift for any seafood-loving family, but this crab was stored in a refrigerator for the next five days—and somehow survived.

The family, noticing movement, could not bring itself to cook the crab, so it telephoned Bristol Aquarium, which is now the crab’s home.

“Basically, they didn't have the heart to kill him. Additionally, they decided they did not have a saucepan big enough to cook him in,” said the aquarium’s David Waines.

“When she told me it had been in there for five days I couldn't believe it was still alive. I told them to wrap it in a wet towel and bring it along to the aquarium as quickly as possible.”

Bristol Aquarium posted a story on its Facebook page, explaining that the crab is “making a miraculous recovery.”

Waines explained: “Although the crab was very weak when it arrived the fact that it was kept refrigerated meant it was in a kind of suspended animation.”

The crab, estimated to be 15 to 20 years old, was placed in a special tank flowing with oxygen-rich water, and immediately began to show signs of recovery.

“Hopefully it will continue to get better and will be able to enjoy an unexpectedly long retirement here at the aquarium,” Waines said.

Bristol Aquarium named the edible crab—England’s largest species of crab—”Santa Claws,” and hopes it can be a popular draw over the holiday period.

Which is better than the fate of most edible crabs pulled from North Sea waters. These crabs, which are trapped in baited pots, are prized largely for the sweet, white meat contained in their enormous claws.

Those claws, the aquarium states, boast a crushing strength of more than 90 pounds per square inch, or nearly four times the crushing strength of a human hand.

As for the ‘Santa Claws’ story, it’s beginning to get some press in Europe, having been picked up by the BBC and the Bristol Post.

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