An extremely rare orange lobster was rescued from certain death – and the humiliation of spending its final days in a grocery store tank – after the manager noticed it was being “picked on” by the other lobsters.
“Obviously it stood out. It’s not every day you see a lobster that looks like it’s pre-cooked walking around,” said Niki Lundquist, whose husband manages the grocery store in Ontario’s Durham region.
The carroty crustacean had sat in the tank for weeks with no interest from buyers, and the couple initially thought about driving the lobster back to the ocean, a journey of nearly 1,000 km.
“Being picked on and being stuck in a tank seemed like a terrible way to go, so we started thinking about what we could do for it,” Lundquist said.
Op die ou end, Lundquist and her husband bought the lobster – for C$16 – packed it in a box, kept its gills wet and took it to the Toronto aquarium.
Op Woensdag, die aquarium announced that it had successfully resettled the lobster.
“We recently rescued Pinchy, a very rare orange lobster, from a grocery store where some awesome people reached out and let us know they had this 1 in 30 million creature,” the aquarium said. “Pinchy is settling in very well to his new home and is doing brilliantly!”
Most lobsters are dark blue or green to camouflage them from predators. But genetic mutations mean that crustaceans can sometimes sport yellow or calico shells.
Among the rarest is the ‘Halloween’ lobster – split evenly into half black, half orange – a phenomena believed to occur in as few as one in every 100 million lobsters. ‘Ghost’ or ‘cotton candy’ lobsters, known for their white or translucent shell, have also been hauled in by fishermen.
Pinchy’s rescue marks the second time an orange lobster has been saved in recent days. Verlede week, a restaurant in Arizona spotted an orange lobster and donated it to a Scottsdale aquarium.
It is unknown how long lobsters can survive in captivity – some estimates are as long as a century – but Pinchy’s lifespan is certain to be far longer than the others left behind in the bubbling grocery store tank.
After it quarantines in a tank, Lundquist hopes to visit the lobster again.
“I don’t think Pinchy will remember us," sy het gese. “But we’ll definitely remember Pinchy. I didn’t think I’d ever end up with a soft spot for a lobster.”