This Rare Lobster was Saved from Being Dinner!

She was discovered at an Ohio Red Lobster restaurant.

Aug 7, 2020

(Courtesy Akron Zoo)

Blue lobsters are very rare. In fact, the University of Maine’s Lobster Institute estimates that there is only a one in 2 Million chance of catching one. That’s why it is astonishing that one of these exceptional crustaceans would end up in the lobster tank of an Ohio Red Lobster restaurant.

On an ordinary Tuesday in late July 2020, the staff of the Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio restaurant was unpacking a shipment of the lobsters when they noticed one looked a little off color according to National Public Radio.

“At first, the lobster just looked a little off,” Michelle Falconer, the general manager at the restaurant told TODAY Food. “But when we put her in our tank, she was this beautiful, brilliant color.”

So, they kept the rare beauty in the tank and made sure she didn’t end up as someone’s dinner. The crew named her Clawde after Red Lobster’s mascot; which was later changed to Clawdia when a veterinarian at the Akron Zoo saw that she was female.

Falconer contacted the restaurant’s home office, according to NPR, while Clawdia swam around with her duller colored tank mates. The corporate office called the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California, an institution that Red Lobster supports through the Seafood Watch Program that promotes sustainably sourced seafood.

The aquarium found Clawdia a new home at the Ohio Akron Zoo. But its not that easy to transport live lobsters so the zoo’s animal care manager Kathleen Balogh and a colleague loaded a giant cooler with saltwater to relocate the blue beauty.

“There is a little bit of wear and tear from its journey,” Balogh told NPR but the lobster is adapting to her new digs and appears to be healthy. The zoo quarantines all animal arrivals for 90 days for safety reasons but she will be homed into a visible habitat.

“Shortly after we introduced Clawdia to her aquarium, she started moving rocks around to create her own cave. That was a good sign, it means she’s doing well,” Vince Jeffries, director of marketing and public relations for the Akron Zoo, told TODAY.

“We’ve really been pampering her,” he said. “She actually just enjoyed a shrimp feast!”

She is being gently handled so that she has a successful molt in the fall. Lobsters have to shed their shells so that they can grow. Now Clawdia will have a long life and the staff at the restaurant are happy that she didn’t end up as dinner.

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BONNIE RIVA RAS, EDITOR & WRITER
Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.