Rare speckled 'lucky lobster' finds new home at Virginia Living Museum

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Posted at 12:00 PM, May 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-07 10:18:00-04

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Spared from a pot of boiling water, the new star of the Virginia Living Museum now sits inside a cozy saltwater tank.

"As a person who loves all lobsters, it was very exciting," said Britt Sorensen, the museum's training and enrichment coordinator.

This lobster is, simply put, lucky.

"Lobsters are typically underrated," Sorenson said. "People usually just walk by and think that it's tasty or looks scary."

But what passersby will soon see on display is Freckles, adorned with golden speckles.

"This lobster is incredibly rare. It's a calico sort of orange and yellow, and it only happens in 1 in 30 million, which is ridiculous," she said.

The curiously-colored crustacean recently caught the eye of the cooks at a Red Lobster in Manassas, Virginia.

"They saw him and thought, 'This is not normal; this is new and special,'" Sorensen said.

Special enough to be spared from being served as a meal with the restaurant's famous Cheddar Bay biscuits. Red Lobster called the conservation experts instead.

"It's really great they saw that an opportunity to help this animal out and give him a home and contribute to the education of natural things," Sorensen said.

Sorensen says Freckles's speckles come from a protein deficiency, which also makes him prone to predators.

"This coloration shows more than a green, blue or brown coloration," she said.

There's no word on Freckles's age or how big he will get, but one thing Sorensen can confirm is that he's savvy and smart.

"Lobsters are incredibly intelligent - some scientists think as intelligent as an octopus," she said.

Freckles will now get used to his new home in a quarantine period before showing off his snazzy shell to the outside world.