A Rare Orange Lobster Named 'Cheddar' Was Rescued By the Staff at a Red Lobster Restaurant

The brightly-colored crustacean is a one-in-30 million find.

Cheddar the lobster
Photo: Courtesy of Red Lobster

When the staff at a Red Lobster restaurant in Hollywood, Florida opened a recent shipment of live lobsters, they quickly realized that one of those crustaceans was not like the others. Although the shells of most lobsters — at least the uncooked ones — are a mottled brownish-green, one of their new arrivals was a vibrant orange.

Finding one of these bright orange lobsters is a rarity — some put the odds at 1-in-30 million — because their Day-Glo shells attract predators almost as effectively as holding a neon sign that says "I'm delicious." The employees knew that this special shellfish deserved something other than becoming a dinner special, so they named her "Cheddar" in honor of Red Lobster's Cheddar Bay biscuits, and relocated her to Ripley's Aquarium in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Cheddar the lobster
Courtesy of Red Lobster

"Sometimes ordinary miracles happen, and Cheddar is one of them," Mario Roque, a Red Lobster manager who was involved in rescuing Cheddar, said in a statement. "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."

This isn't the first time that Red Lobster has rescued one of its namesake shellfish. In July 2020, an ultra-rare blue lobster was shipped to a Red Lobster in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, and the team there organized his relocation to the Akron Zoo. The vibrantly hued lobster, who was named "Clawde" after the restaurant chain's mascot, became the zoo's first-ever cold-water lobster.

And last May, when a so-called calico lobster arrived at a Red Lobster in Manassas, Virginia, the staff reached out to the Akron Zoo, which made arrangements for "Freckles" to be taken in by the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News.

Cheddar has already been safely transported from Florida to her new home at Ripley's Aquarium. "We are incredibly proud of Mario and the team for recognizing what a special and rare creature Cheddar is and for working relentlessly to find someone to rescue her," Nicole Bott, Red Lobster's Senior Director of Communications said. "It is an honor to be able to share the story of Cheddar and provide her a new home where she can be enjoyed by many for years to come, all from the safety of her tank."

Let's all raise a biscuit in her honor.

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