North West Wales

Orange lobster escapes cooking pot and heads to sea zoo

Orange lobster Image copyright Wales News Service

Being brightly coloured and standing out from the crowd is not always a good survival strategy for animals.

But a bright orange lobster has its unusual colour to thank for its escape from the cooking pot, after the man who caught it decided it was so rare it should be kept in a zoo.

Anglesey seafood merchant Tristan Wood knew lobsters were usually dark brown and only change colour once cooked.

The chances of catching an orange one are about one in 30 million, he said.

Mr Wood, 39, who runs The Lobster Pot in Holyhead, said: "As soon as I saw this amazing female in the lobster catch, she stood out from all the other lobsters, and I knew she was unique and I had to save her from the pot.

"In all the years I have been working in sustainable lobster fisheries, this is the first time I have seen a bright orange individual like this one."

He gave the lobster to Anglesey Sea Zoo where it is being cared for in the Lobster Hatchery of Wales.

Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption The orange lobster next to a more commonly coloured one

Zoo director Frankie Hobro said: "This is an incredibly exciting addition to our ongoing captive breeding and conservation programme in the Lobster Hatchery of Wales, and for research into the Common Lobster, particularly as this individual is a female carrying eggs.

"We are eagerly anticipating the release of her larvae to see if they are also as orange as the female, and to see as the juveniles develop and grow, if any of them are bright orange."

Experts from the University of Maine's Lobster Institute in the USA have previously said the odds of finding a bright orange lobster are about one in 30 million although stressing it is hard to estimate accurately the true number without them being caught.

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