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Newest Virginia Living Museum addition: Freckles the calico... lobster?

Freckles is a calico lobster. His unique orange and black complexion occurs extremely rarely in his species. We're talking about 1 in every 30 million lobsters.
Credit: Virginia Living Museum
Freckles the calico lobster at the Virginia Living Museum

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — You wouldn't say "there are more fish in the sea" after losing this catch. Freckles the lobster is literally one in 30 million!

The Virginia Living Museum said their newest animal will go on display starting the Fourth of July holiday weekend. They're calling it a "red, white, and freckled" weekend.

That's because Freckles is a calico lobster. His unique orange and black complexion occurs extremely rarely in his species.

He got his name from employees of the Red Lobster Seafood Restaurant in Manassas, Virginia. They're the ones who first spotted this spotted wonder.

VLM's Senior Director of Animal Welfare and Conservation, Chris Crippen, drove up to get Freckles out of the restaurant's live lobster tank on April 29.

He got a check-up to make sure he was healthy, and then took a quick van ride down to his new Newport News home.

“We see this as an opportunity to share nature's anomaly with guests, as well as continue important education about sustainable seafood practices and significant conservation efforts of the American lobster fishery," said Crippen.

RELATED: Shark Week is this month, and there are plenty swimming around Virginia and North Carolina.

Calico lobsters actually do better in captivity, according to the museum, because they stand out so sharply against the sea floor.

"The vibrant orange and black shell pattern challenges their survival in the wild since they are no longer able to camouflage with their natural habitat," a spokesperson wrote.  

The museum thanked Red Lobster for putting out a call to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) when they came across this rare crustacean.

A spokesperson said this story "has a very happy ending for 'Freckles' who now survives and thrives on exhibit daily at the Virginia Living Museum."