Two exceedingly rare orange lobsters saved from the supper table; now safe at Ripley’s Aquarium

What do you call something so rare it happens not just once, but twice?

Whatever it is, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada in Toronto, has become the new home of two miracles of nature in just a few weeks.

First, it took in Pinchy, a exceedingly unusual orange lobster rescued by Niki Lundquist from a grocery store in Ajax, Ont. Her spouse, who is one of the store managers, actually first spotted Pinchy in late September.

“He stood out because he’s so vibrantly orange!” Lundquist posted on Twitter.

Pinchy is settling in at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada. Photo: Niki Lunquist/Twitter

Then, last week, a Sobeys store in Kincardine, Ont. called the aquarium with its orange lobster, which had arrived in a recent shipment.

The seafood manager there had told his staff not to sell the odd looking lobster, which he named Mr. Nimbus, from the show Rick and Morty.

When Pinchy’s rescue story came to light, it prompted folks at the Sobeys store to alert Ripley’s to their orange crustacean.

“He’s had his picture taken 100 times in the last couple of weeks,” says seafood manager Brian Track told blogTO.

Mr. Nimbus has fans in Kincardine, Ont. Photo: Sobeys

Typically, lobsters only look bright red or orange once they’re cooked. In the wild, they’re more greenish brown and muted and mottled to blend into the ocean and help protect them from predators.

The University of Maine’s Lobster Institute notes lobsters come in all kinds of unusual hues.

Lobsters can also be red, yellow, calico or split orange and brown. All of those are rare. But the rarest of them all is a crystal, or albino lobster. There are perhaps one in 100 million of those, according to the Lobster institute.

This blue lobster was caught off the coast of Maine in 2014.. Miss Meghan’s Lobster Catch/Facebook

When Lundquist found out orange lobsters come at a rate of about 1 in 30 million or so, she began the search for a home and came upon the notion that Ripley’s might take Pinchy.

“If they didn’t take him I was going to drive him to the east coast,” she posted after. “I’m so happy they took him.”

The aquarium was thrilled to help.

“Welcome to the Ripley’s family, Pinchy!” the facility posted on Facebook.

“We recently rescued Pinchy, a very rare orange lobster, from a grocery store where some awesome people reached out and let us know they had this 1 in 30 million creature. Pinchy is settling in very well to his new home and is doing brilliantly!”

Oh, and Pinchy’s claws had been wrapped to make sure he didn’t hurt himself during the big move.

And the aquarium, of course, is taking Mr. Nimbus, too.

Lundquist is thrilled.

“It brought us all so much joy to know he was getting a second chance and likely a longer life than in the wild!”

Oh, and yes, Lundquist named Pinchy after a character on The Simpsons.

About the author

Recovering newspaper reporter.

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