Lobster tale: How a rare animal made a great escape from Publix - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Lobster tale: How a rare animal made a great escape from Publix

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

A rare lobster that landed itself in hot water is now finding a second chance at life.

This lobster tale begins at a Publix supermarket in Flagler Beach, Fla., and ends in New Hampshire.

A woman named Marybeth Jeitner noticed an extremely rare orange American lobster in the store's tank – seemingly awaiting its fate just like the others. She bought the crustacean and turned to social media, wondering if anyone could identify it.

It started a social movement to save this lobster.

They named her "Libby," for liberation.

Through Facebook, she connected with one of her friends in New Hampshire – who then contacted the Seacoast Science Center, aquarist Rob Royer told FOX 13 on Friday.

"She contacted a number of different places down in Florida to see if she anyone wanted to have this lobster on display, somewhere in their facility," he said. "She didn't really have any luck doing that, so through Facebook and social media one of her friends up here … found us."

Royer said finding something like an orange lobster inside a Publix is as rare as it comes. He said finding one in general is about a 1-in-10 million chance. Tracing its origin is tough as well.

He said the animal thrives in colder water compared to a red lobster you would usually find in a store.

Libby was shipped via UPS from Florida on Wednesday night and arrived to Royer's facility in New Hampshire on Thursday. Amazingly, she's in good health.

"I was actually pretty concerned about the shipping," Royer said. "The way they ship the lobsters, they use a lot of seaweed to pack the lobster in. You actually don't need to ship them in water, as long as their body is kept moist. They didn't have any seaweed, so they used ice packs and wet newspapers."

Royer said she's in quarantine now. He believes she's probably at least 12 years old, and she could live as long as 60 years. The plan is to have her on display at the center in about a week.

"I've never seen a lobster like that in a store before … You definitely don't see something like that very often," Royer said.

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