Ho-hum, just another day at Central Campus, this last one of the 2018-19 school year.
No sooner had we gotten the lowdown on the arrival of a donated Boeing 727 jet engine at Central’s Aviation Technology Academy on County Line Road than news broke of the arrival of the latest exotic specimen to take up residence in one of the school’s marine biology tanks at 1800 Grand Avenue.
Cutting to the last link of a remarkable chain of events, an extremely rare (1 out of every 30 million) orange lobster found its way to DMPS.
Hy-Vee received it in a shipment of crustaceans harvested in the cold, deep waters of the North Atlantic that’s otherwise bound for area dinner plates and contacted Central Campus marine bio instructor Dr. Greg Barord to see if he might be interested. He sure was.
“This isn’t the first time there has been an orange lobster, said Barord. “This isn’t the first time there has been an orange lobster in an aquarium either. But I’m pretty sure this will be the first time an orange lobster will be in a high school on display. It is the last day, but that really means nothing in our programs as our animals…demand our constant attention to detail (year round).”
This one, thanks to its distinctive markings, won’t become a meal like duck l’orange or orange roughy. Little does it know the odds it beat (30,000,000:1!) by ending up in its own personal tank at Central Campus, where it is welcome to stay indefinitely. Barord says lobsters can live into their 50s and guesstimates this one is 7-9 years old based on its current size.
They never name their aquarium guests at the DMPS educational Disneyland, but if an exception was made in this case, Lucky is our suggestion. This one hit the lobster lottery.
“Jet engines at 8:00 AM, orange lobsters at 11:00,” said Tascha Brown, Central Campus Director. “You never know what’s next around here.”
That’s just what we were thinking.