Staff at a Red Lobster restaurant in Meridian, Mississippi, recently found an orange lobster among its shellfish — and contacted Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, to rescue the creature.
The lobster was named Biscuit, in honor of the restaurant chain’s iconic Cheddar Bay Biscuits — especially since the name Cheddar was recently given to another orange lobster rescued from a Florida Red Lobster last month.
Though orange lobsters are believed to be just one in 30 million, Ripley’s Aquariums said it would start studying orange lobsters to learn more about the color anomaly, according to a press release from Ripley’s.
“Orange lobsters are uncommon but perhaps not as rare as we first thought,” Jared Durrett, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies director of husbandry, said in a statement.
Durrett continued, “Lobsters obtain their color through the pigments they ingest in their diet. If these orange lobsters are being harvested from the same region, perhaps their localized diet contains a pigment that, when paired with the lobster’s genetics, creates the orange coloration we are seeing.”
Durrett explained that Ripley’s Aquariums partnered with Red Lobster to learn more about what their lobsters are eating that causes them to turn orange.
“As one of the largest restaurant companies in the world, we see a lot of lobsters. And, on the rare occasion we receive a lobster like Biscuit, we have to ask why?” Nicole Bott, Red Lobster’s senior director of communications said in a statement.
“We are hearing from our fishermen in the area where both Cheddar and Biscuit were caught that they are seeing a lot of orange lobsters this time of year,” Bott added.
“This seems to indicate the coloring is coming from a different food source.”
In the press release, Ripley’s said that Biscuit is adjusting to her new home at Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg and will go on exhibit later this year.