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Hy-Vee's One-in-10-Million Orange Lobster Finds a Permanent Home

'R.C.' settling in along the banks of the Mississippi River

February 12, 2016
From: Tara Deering-Hansen - Hy-Vee Group Vice President - Communications , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (Feb. 12, 2016) - In January, seafood inspectors at Hy-Vee's perishable distribution center in Ankeny stumbled on something a little fishy. Among the thousands of live brown lobsters that had been responsibly sourced from the Cape Cod area was a rare orange lobster. The discovery raised antennae because orange lobsters are about one in 10 million and are among the rarest of colored lobsters.

Hy-Vee named the lobster "R.C." after its Responsible Choice seafood program. Hy-Vee's intent is to sell high-quality seafood that is not only safe for consumption but also harvested or raised in a manner that provides for its long-term viability while minimizing damage to the environment and other sea life.

After a long drive down U.S. Highway 20, R.C. made it to the East Coast of Iowa and the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium in Dubuque. This is no crustacean vacation, but a permanent home. The Museum & Aquarium is accredited by the American Association of Museums - a distinction held by only 9 percent of American museums. Additionally, it is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Article Photos

'R.C.' at the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium in Dubuque

"R.C. is a great mascot for our Responsible Choice seafood program and highlights the commitment Hy-Vee has made to selling high-quality seafood that is also raised in a manner that provides for long-term sustainability," said John Rohrs, seafood manager at the Hy-Vee subsidiary Perishable Distributors of Iowa. "We expect people will want to claw their way in to the museum to see this lobster and enjoy her uniqueness."

The rare Hy-Vee lobster is getting acquainted to her new surroundings and really starting to come out of her shell. She is not on display for the public at this time, but officials at the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium have exciting things in store. R.C. may be featured in a display tank in the museum's Rivers to Sea exhibit or highlighted as a program animal. In the meantime, she will continue to receive excellent care from the experts in Dubuque.

"We're pleased Hy-Vee chose the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium as R.C.'s new home. We're confident she'll fit right in with the rest of our distinct creatures," said John Sutter, co-interim executive director and director of marketing. "Since both of our organizations are supporters of the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program, I'm glad we could come together to help R.C. and build awareness about keeping our oceans healthy for future rare lobsters."



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