Marybeth Jeitner: Woman's Facebook plea saves rare orange-colored lobster from Publix

A lobster managed to dodge a dinner plate thanks to one woman's Facebook campaign.

She saw the lobster, which had rare coloring, at a Publix grocery store and decided to save it.

Little did Marybeth Jeitner realize when she made a weekend trip to the Flagler Beach Publix she'd get caught up in a once-in-a-lifetime project to save a lobster.

It began when she ran into a friend.

"He and his wife were busy on their phones as they were shopping so I asked them what they were doing. And they said there's a beautiful rare lobster back in the seafood section. You have to go see her," Jeitner said.

So she did, which is a feat in and of itself.

"I'm vegan. So I don't ever go to the seafood section," she says.

Jeitner posted photos on facebook, asking for help in saving this lobster from someone's dinner table.

Soon, she had hundreds of people offering help, including Heather Chalmers and her daughter Ava Grundvig.


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"When we started researching it, and really found out how rare it was, we got concerned too," Chalmers said.

Lobster experts say it's a 1-in-30 million genetic anomaly.

So Chalmers volunteered her kitchen and tank and Jeitner bought Libby, short for liberation, and began looking for a permanent home.

Perhaps the biggest help in this endeavor has been, of all things, social media, specifically Facebook. Without that, it probably couldn't have happened.

Jeitner got word that a Maine company, will arrange a return trip to Maine while another friend is in New Hampshire working to provide Libby a permanent home.

"What I learned is that when people come together they can do amazing things. I would have never thought I could have had a lobster in my kitchen but with the help from everybody, I mean, it really made everything possible," Grundvig said.

They hope to have Libby back in New England by the end of the week.