GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE) — A rare orange lobster found by staff at an East Tennessee restaurant in Gatlinburg has been donated to Ripley’s Aquarium.
Staff at Chesapeake’s Seafood House in Gatlinburg were shocked to find a rare orange lobster amongst their weekly shipment of fresh seafood. Chesapeake’s staff members John Seffernick and Jerry Broyhill spoke with WATE 6 about their experience with finding the lobster.
Seffernick, a manager, explained that when they opened the container with the lobsters, one stuck out like an “orange diamond in the rough.”
Chesapeake’s has a fresh seafood program where they get a shipment of seafood every week. The lobster they receive comes from a lobster company in Boston, according to Seffernick.
“When we got our shipment in, that’s when, to our surprise, we saw this lobster just looking at us and saying ‘Hey! I’m orange! Don’t eat me!'” Seffernick said.
That’s when the effort to save the lobster. Staff worked together to find out how rare orange lobsters are and to contact Jared Durrett with Ripley’s Aquarium.
“Our staff got involved with it too,” Broyhill said. “We had him in a tank, and no one would grab him out to cook him or anything like that. He was pretty much off limits.”
Once they were able to reach Durrett at Ripley’s Aquarium, he came over to check in on the lobster and confirmed that the lobster was indeed very rare. Wild orange lobsters are estimated to be a 1-in-30 million occurrence.
The lobster was affectionately named “The Big Orange Lobster” in honor of the upcoming Vol’s Football season.
The Big Orange Lobster was rescued and taken to Ripley’s Aquarium, where it is the second orange lobster at the location.
The Gatlinburg Ripley’s location recently received another orange lobster, which was rescued from a Red Lobster and named Biscuit, according to a news release from Red Lobster. The Ripley’s Aquarium in Myrtle Beach has an orange lobster named Cheddar, also rescued from a Red Lobster, and Ripley’s location in Toronto, Canada, has an orange lobster named Pinchy.