Saved From The Dinner Plate: How A Rare Lobster Was Rescued From A Seafood Restaurant

When employees realized they had something special in their tank, they did something about it.

What happens when a blue lobster shows up at a Red Lobster? If the story is on the Sparkt website, you can count on the crustacean being transformed from dinner -- to delivered -- to a new home!

It all started at a Red Lobster restaurant in Cuyahoga Falls, OH, where an employee noticed one of the lobsters they were preparing didn't look quite right. "At first, the lobster just looked a little off," restaurant manager Michelle Falconer told TODAY. "But when we put her in our tank, she was this beautiful, brilliant color."

Red Lobster employees immediately recognized this lobster didn't look like the others.Michelle Falconer

Turns out the lobster was a rare blue lobster, so rare that only one out of every 2 million lobsters are colored this way because of a genetic abnormality.

Falconer contacted the nearby Akron Zoo (the restaurant and the zoo are both partners in the sustainability organization Seafood Watch). A zoo keeper came, nestled the lobster in a cooler, and carefully transported her to the zoo's aquarium. That's where she's now being cared for, and treated to her favorite meal: shrimp.

Zoo employees transported the rare lobster in a cooler. She looks more "blue" when she's in water.Akron Zoo/Facebook

"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.

Jeffries said Clawdia (originally named Clawde until a zoo veterinarian determined she is female) was banged up from her travels, so they're monitoring her carefully and allowing her to rest and heal. They want to make sure she's strong and healthy in time for molting season this fall, when she'll shed her shell. Right now Clawdia is in isolation, but she'll eventually be on display.

Clawdia has already moved things around in her cave which lets vets know she's adapting to her new surroundings.Akron Zoo/Facebook

Zoo fans are full of praise for the Red Lobster restaurant workers who recognized they had something special in their tank, and did something to save it from someone's dinner plate. "Beautiful wonder of nature," wrote Colette Paganelli on the zoo's Facebook page. "Thanks to those who had sense to realize what they had. Treasure it take care of it."

How can you start something good?

Red Lobster employees and the Akron Zoo really made a difference in this story, even if the recipient of kindness was a lobster.

You can support the Zoo with donations, or if you live in the Akron area, by volunteering. You can also support Seafood Watch and their efforts to make seafood harvesting sustainable and encourage consumers to eat only ocean-friendly seafood (see their website for more information).

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