For the second time in a matter of weeks, a rare orange lobster was rescued from a Red Lobster location. This time from a restaurant in Meridian, Mississippi.
“With the statistic ‘one-in-30 million’ starting to raise eyebrows, Ripley’s Aquariums is setting out to study these animals and better understand this anomaly,” a press release by Ripley’s Aquarium said.
Rare Orange Lobsters
The team from Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies saved the orange lobster, which has been dubbed “Biscuit.”
In mid-July, an orange lobster, later named Cheddar, was discovered at a Red Lobster location in Florida. Employees called Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach and the organization took Cheddar in.
Like Cheddar, Biscuit was named after Red Lobster’s popular menu item, the Cheddar Bay Biscuit.
A team from Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada previously rescued an orange lobster, now named Pinchy, from a grocery store, per the release.
What Makes a Lobster’s Color?
Ripley’s Aquarium said in its press release that the color of a lobster may be affected by its diet and genetics.
While most lobsters are known to appear with a brownish color, the University of Maine’s Lobster Institute reported that some lobsters can be different colors, like yellow or white.
With the exception of white lobsters, a lobster of any color will turn bright red when they are cooked.
A lobster’s diet typically includes crabs, clams, starfish and occasionally other lobsters.
The press release issued by the aquarium said that Biscuit came from the same fishing area as Cheddar, which may further the theory that “unusual coloration” is contingent on a lobster’s diet.
Jared Durrett, the director of husbandry at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, said they plan to study the reason behind the uptick in the rare color.
“Orange lobsters are uncommon but perhaps not as rare as we first thought,” Durrett said. “Lobsters obtain their color through the pigments they ingest in their diet. If these orange lobsters are being harvested from the same region, perhaps their localized diet contains a pigment that, when paired with the lobster’s genetics, creates the orange coloration we are seeing.”
Nicole Bott, the senior director of communications at Red Lobster, said fishermen that work in the area where Cheddar and Biscuit were harvested have found other orange lobsters this time of year.
“This seems to indicate the coloring is coming from a different food source,” she said.
What If I See A Rare Lobster?
Bott told Newsweek in an email that if an employee at a Red Lobster location believes they have a rare colored lobster, they send photos and notify her.
“We then work together along with our supply chain team to determine if the lobster is, in fact rare,” she said. “If it is, we work on a rescue plan, which could include an aquarium or a release to the wild.”
The release said that Biscuit will be exhibited later this year as she continues to get acclimated to her new home.
Newsweek reached out to Ripley’s Aquarium for further comment.
A viral video showed a fisherman from Maine catching an orange lobster before releasing it back into the ocean.
Another rare lobster with “cotton candy” coloring was caught off the coast in Maine. Those who caught the lobster looked into local organizations and aquariums to see if one would adopt it.
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