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1 in a million: Freckles, rare lobster rescued from Manassas restaurant, dies at museum

Freckles was discovered at a Manassas Red Lobster in April 2021, and died in the Virginia Living Museum.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — The Virginia Living Museum mournfully announced the passing of a beloved animal on their Facebook page Sunday. A Calico Lobster named Freckles, who had been discovered at a Red Lobster restaurant in Manassas, died while attempting to molt.

"Like all crustaceans, lobsters must shed their exoskeleton to grow," the museum's post said. "At Freckles' size, this molting requires a significant amount of energy, to the point in which older animals may not survive," the post said. "Modifications were made to his enclosure by the aquarium's staff, but sadly he was unsuccessful at completing his molt and passed overnight."

Freckles was relocated to the museum in Newport News after a Red Lobster employee discovered the unique species in a shipment of other lobsters to the restaurant in April 2021.

The staff member recognized the orange and black freckles on the lobster's shell and called the museum instead of having him be served on someone's dinner plate. Freckles was granted a permanent residency at the Virginia Living Museum, where he became a representative of his kind.

The University of Maine's Lobster Institute estimates the chances of finding a Calico Lobster are 1-in-30 million.

Follow Digital Journalist Chioma-Emilia Ahaghotu on Twitter and Facebook. Send tips to cahaghotu@wusa9.com.

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