The rare blue American lobster adopted by the Akron Zoo from a Red Lobster restaurant last year will make her public debut at the zoo on Saturday, Feb. 13.
The female blue lobster was named Clawdia, after Red Lobster’s mascot, Clawde. Clawdia came to live at the Akron Zoo in July 2020 after restaurant employees at the Cuyahoga Falls location recognized the rarity of the blue shell.
The connection between the Akron Zoo and Red Lobster came from a conservation partnership called Seafood Watch. The program, run by the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California, strives to help consumers and businesses choose seafood that is farmed sustainably and fished in ways to support a healthy ocean. Both the Akron Zoo and Red Lobster are conservation partners with Seafood Watch.
After Red Lobster employees discovered the blue lobster, they contacted the Monterey Bay Aquarium, who then reached out to the Akron Zoo. The animal care staff at the zoo was able to quickly prepare a new home for her.
Blue lobsters are very rare, occurring one in every 2 million. The blue coloration of the shell is the result of a genetic anomaly.
After Clawdia made the move to the Akron Zoo, she went through a quarantine process and was given time to acclimate to her new home. In the fall of 2020, she went through the molting process, where she shed her exoskeleton. Molting is a very vulnerable process for lobsters, and it was especially vulnerable for Clawdia after her long journey the previous summer.
Clawdia’s new exoskeleton, after the molt, was not solid blue as before. Instead, Clawdia is now more rainbow-colored, featuring blue, yellow, green and orange colors.
After Clawdia successfully molted, animal care staff began building a permanent home for the lobster where zoo guests can see her. Clawdia now resides in a habitat in the zoo’s Komodo Kingdom building.