AKRON, Ohio — If you didn’t know blue lobsters exist, you now have an opportunity to see one in person.
Clawdia will make her public debut on Saturday, Feb. 13 at the Akron Zoo, 505 Euclid Ave. in Akron.
Blue lobsters occur about once in 2 million, according to the zoo.
Clawdia is named after Clawde, Red Lobster restaurants’ mascot.
Her name isn’t morbid -- Red Lobster in Cuyahoga Falls is where Clawdia was found last July among the sea creatures intended for dinner plates.
Red Lobster and the Akron Zoo were already connected through participation in a conservation program called Seafood Watch, run by Monterey Bay Aquarium in California.
The program helps consumers and small businesses select seafood in sustainable ways, and supports healthy fishing to promote the health of the ocean.
When Red Lobster employees discovered Clawdia, they realized her blue shell was unusual, so they contacted the aquarium, which reached out to the Akron Zoo.
The Akron Zoo is no stranger to unusual or endangered animals.
It is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and is part of the AZA’s Species Survival Plan.
The Akron Zoo interacts with other AZA zoos around the world and participates in 46 species survival programs, working with everything from endangered snails and otters to snow leopards and pandas.
The zoo’s first blue lobster, Clawdia, was initially safely installed in a temporary habitat and then given time to acclimate in quarantine, the zoo said.
Last fall, she molted, naturally shedding her exoskeleton, which zoo officials said makes the creatures even more vulnerable.
Clawdia has since grown a new exoskeleton, which is not as blue as her original one, zoo officials said.
Clawdia is now the colors of the rainbow, featuring blue, green, gold and orange.
With that process behind her, Clawdia has moved into her permanent home -- a habitat in the zoo’s Komodo Kingdom building, where visitors to the zoo can see her.
The zoo is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the winter.
Admission is $8 per person, with children under two free. Parking is $3.