When someone gets sunburned really badly, sometimes we describe the angry skin color as “lobster red” because, well, lobsters are red. There’s even a restaurant named after that fact.
“Normally I would have not known that it was something special,” Angie Helbig, an employee who’s worked at the location for 28 years, told NPR. But then she remembered the name of a prestigious award the company gives to longtime employees: the blue lobster award.
“At first it looked like it was fake,” Anthony Stein, the location’s culinary manager, added. “It’s definitely something marvelous to look at.”
“We kept [it] in the tank and just made sure that nobody took him in the back for dinner,” Helbig said.
“They sprung into action,” Kathleen Balogh, Akron Zoo Animal Care Manager, said.
“[They] prepared a suitable area and made a cage so the lobster would feel comfortable.”
An employee went to pick up the rare specimen, toting along a blue cooler to contain the crustacean.
“Your Akron Zoo has adopted a rare blue American lobster from a Red Lobster after restaurant employees recognized the rarity of the blue shell,” the Akron Zoo posted on Facebook on Sunday.
“After Red Lobster employees discovered the blue lobster, named Clawde by the restaurant chain after their mascot, they contacted the Monterey Bay Aquarium, who then reached out to us. Our animal care staff was able to quickly spring into action and prepare a new home for him.”
“Blue lobsters are very rare, occurring one in every 2 million. The blue coloration of the shell is the result of a genetic anomaly.”
“Clawde is acclimating to his new home here at the Akron Zoo, in a special tank that has been dubbed ‘Clawde’s Man Cave’ by his care team. Clawde now resides in … our Komodo Kingdom building.”
Despite the name, “Clawde” is actually a female. After a vet exam on Sunday that showed “Clawde” was a “Clawdia,” the “man cave” was renamed the “she-shed.”
While Balogh said the blue lobster had “a little bit of wear and tear from its journey,” she also said the beautiful specimen is adjusting well and is otherwise healthy.
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