AN extremely rare lobster destined for the dinner plate was saved on Monday by a waiter at a Massachusetts restaurant.
The calico lobster ù which is dark with bright orange and yellow spots ù could be a 1-in-30 million find, according to The New England Aquarium in Boston, where the animal is now safely residing.
But it came very close to being gobbled up at Jasper White's Summer Shack restaurant in Cambridge.
"We happened to be cleaning the tank and I happened to be there," Mr White told The Boston Globe. "One of my guys said, chef, look at this lobster,' and from across the room I knew it was special."
The extraordinary crustacean was caught off Winter Harbor, Maine, before ending up at the restaurant.
It is now being held at the Boston aquarium, before travelling to its new home, the Biomes Marine Biology Center, in Rhode Island.
The Maine-based Lobster Conservancy says just one in 30 million lobsters is of the calico variety. They are as rare as orange lobsters but harder to find than their vibrant blue counterparts, which are a one in a million find. Mr White named the lobster Calvin, he told the Globe, adding that he'd never seen anything like it.
"We go through over 300,000 pounds of lobster a year, and I've been doing this for 40 years," he said. "I've seen a lot of lobsters, but I had never seen one like this."
Most people picture a lobster as a bright red animal on their dinner plate but they normally come in a mix of brown, green and blue and are only red after being cooked.
According to the aquarium, white lobsters are the rarest variety of lobster at an estimated probability of just one in 100 million animals.