It doesn't sound like you read the article. If they had the option they would have released it. Majestic for sure, I wish it would have lived.
It does bring up a question I've been considering lately. If you were fishing for a species you would normally release, and caught a fish you thought would be close to a state record, would you keep it? I've been thinking about what I would do if I caught a largemouth or walleye of record size.