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Red Lobster employee saves rare blue lobster from becoming dinner

This crustacean is now living her best life at the Akron Zoo.
/ Source: TODAY

A stunning blue lobster has one shell of a story.

Instead of ending up as someone's dinner, Clawdia the crustacean was recently sent to live out her days at a zoo in Akron, Ohio — and she owes it all to an unlikely person: an employee at a Red Lobster.

A rare blue lobster discovered by an employee at a Red Lobster restaurant in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, was adopted by the Akron Zoo.
A rare blue lobster discovered by an employee at a Red Lobster restaurant in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, was adopted by the Akron Zoo.Michelle Falconer

“At first, the lobster just looked a little off," Michelle Falconer, the general manager at the Red Lobster in Cuyahoga Falls where Clawdia was found, told TODAY Food. "But when we put her in our tank, she was this beautiful, brilliant color."

According to the University of Maine’s Lobster Institute, only an estimated one out of every 2 million lobsters are blue and the coloration comes from a genetic defect. The rarest of all lobsters are white, which is seen in just one out of every 100 million lobsters.

Falconer contacted the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California (Red Lobster is connected to the famous facility through the sustainability organization Seafood Watch) and the aquarium then reached out to the Akron Zoo.

On Friday, Clawdia, was carefully transported to her new home.

“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.

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Jeffries noted that it’s important for Clawdia to take it easy after her move and said staff members have been monitoring her carefully.

“We want to make sure that she has a successful molt in September or October,” Jeffries said. In order for a lobster to grow, it must shed its shell.

Though Clawdia is currently living in isolation — the zoo quarantines animals for up to 90 days for safety reasons — she will eventually move into a visible habitat area near the Stripe-leg slipper lobsters. Since Clawdia is a cold water lobster, she will remain in her own tank.

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

Clawdia was originally named Clawde by Red Lobster crew members. However, after determining that she was a female, a veterinarian at the Akron Zoo gave her name a feminine update.