Turtles are generally green or brown, and most of us would raise a skeptical eyebrow if we saw a photo of a bright yellow turtle floating around the internet. What’s next — purple cows? Green flamingos? We’ve all seen the magic of digital editing, and we’re wise to its tricks.
So it’s no surprise that there were some skeptics when footage surfaced of a rescued yellow turtle that had been found in India. Believe it or not, though, this lucky critter really does look like that, and now, he’s safe and sound.
The rare turtle was found in Odisha, India and was promptly taken to the Indian Forest Service (IFS). While the turtle’s unique coloring was just as baffling to them at first, they’ve theorized that it’s due to albinism. The species has been identified as an Indian flapshell.
A rare yellow turtle was spotted & rescued in Balasore, Odisha yesterday.— Susanta Nanda IFS (@susantananda3) July 20, 2020
Most probably it was an albino. One such aberration was recorded by locals in Sindh few years back. pic.twitter.com/ZHAN8bVccU
Albinism can present in different ways depending on the type of animal. Some creatures (especially furry ones) will often turn out completely white, while others (such as some reptiles, like this turtle!) can turn out yellow. This turtle’s distinctive pink eyes suggest that albinism is behind his special color.
Close snap of the same. Mark the pink eyes, one indicative feature of albinism. pic.twitter.com/MfXrXVYbfH— Susanta Nanda IFS (@susantananda3) July 20, 2020
Happily, the turtle seems to be active, healthy, and content. He’ll be staying with the department until they find a suitable habitat for him.