An extremely rare calico lobster was recently found at a Red Lobster by employees who spotted its unique spotted shell.
The male calico lobster, named Freckles by the staff in Manassas, arrived at the Virginia restaurant as part of a regular delivery from Maine.
When team members recognized the lobster’s orange and black shell covering, they reached out to the Red Lobster support team to confirm its identity as a rare calico. After split-colored and albino lobsters, this is the third rarest kind of lobster on the planet, and the chances of catching a calico are 1 in 30 million.
Calico lobsters seldom survive in the wild because their bright colors make them easily spotted by predators.
The restaurant was connected to the aquarium at Virginia Living Museum. At the end of last month, a couple of staff members from the aquarium collected the lobster and safely transported him to his new home.
The Virginia Living Museum and Red Lobster are both partners in the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program, which is committed to choosing sustainable seafood for healthier oceans, now and for future generations.
After a veterinary evaluation and quarantining for 30 days to make sure he is still healthy, Freckles will soon join the museum’s public exhibit in the Chesapeake Bay Gallery.
“We see [Freckles’ move] as an opportunity to share nature’s anomaly with guests,” explained Virginia Living Museum’s Senior Director of Animal Welfare and Conservation Chris Crippen in a statement, “as well as continue important education about sustainable seafood practices and significant conservation efforts of the American lobster fishery.”
This isn’t the first time Red Lobster staff have noticed an intriguing-looking crustacean. Last year, GNN reported the story of an Ohio Red Lobster team member noticing a rare blue lobster among the others.
Only one in every 2 million animals has the blue coloration, which is the result of a genetic anomaly. After discovering the rare crustacean, they named it Clawde, after the restaurant chain’s mascot, and contacted the Monterey Bay Aquarium, who then reached out to the Akron Zoo. Upon receiving the news, staff at the Ohio zoo sprang into action to prepare a new home for him.
Two days later, they posted an amusing update, after the lobster was examined by a vet: “It’s a girl! Clawde is now Clawdia, and the proclaimed ‘man cave’ is now a ‘she-shed!’”