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How Cheddar the Lobster Went From the Pot to a Forever Home
A rare lobster is rescued from a Florida Red Lobster restaurant
It started out as an ordinary day at a Red Lobster restaurant in Hollywood, Florida. A shipment of live lobsters was delivered — destined to become someone’s dinner.
Among the shipment of crawling crustaceans, something stood out: a lobster as orange as a traffic cone.
Immediately, the team at the restaurant knew they had found a unique little creature. Restaurant manager Mario Roque recognized how rare a lobster of this color is and started making calls to rescue it.
Roque reached out to Red Lobster’s director of operations, Adrian Robinson, to figure out how to save this florescent crustacean. A chain of calls ensued, with Robinson contacting Nicole Bott, who leads the restaurant chain’s social responsibility efforts. She confirmed that, indeed, the little lobster was a rare specimen. According to rarest.org, the chances of an orange lobster being found in the wild are 30 million to 1.
The Red Lobster employees set out to find the lobster a safe haven where it could live out its life.
In the meantime, this unique lobster — destined to be saved from the pot — was named Cheddar — in homage to its unique coloring (and the seafood chain’s cheddar biscuits).
The team called around to several aquariums, and Ripley's Aquarium of Myrtle Beach agreed to pick up the lobster and transport it to its new home (you can see Cheddar’s freedom ride on the TikTok made by the aquarium here.)
In a press release, manager Mario Roque said he was thrilled that his team spotted Cheddar and decided to take action. “Sometimes ordinary miracles happen, and Cheddar is one of them. A group of incredible people helped us make this possible. We are so honored to have been able to save Cheddar and find her a good home.”
According to a Red Lobster spokesperson, Cheddar is doing well at her new home. She’s acclimating to her surroundings at Ripley’s Aquarium’s new Marine Science Research Center. No word, yet, whether Cheddar will be displayed at the aquarium for her adoring fans to see.
This isn’t the first time Red Lobster employees identified and rescued a rare lobster.
In July 2020, a Red Lobster located in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio donated a rare blue lobster named “Clawdia” – a 1 in 2 million find – to the Akron Zoo; and in April 2021, a Red Lobster in Manassas, Virginia, donated a rare calico lobster named “Freckles” – a 1 in 30 million finding – to the Virginia Living Museum.