A farmer named Basudev Mahapatra in Sujanpur, in Odisha's Balasore district, India found a beautiful yellow turtle while working in his field. He brought the turtle home and turned it over to forestry experts, who gave it to conservationists to verify.
Siddhartha Pati, executive director at the Association for Biodiversity Conservation, which works to protect wildlife and habitats, told CNN it was the first time he had seen this kind of turtle. The reason for the coloring is likely due to albinism. "It is a congenital disorder and it is characterized by complete or partial absence of tyrosine pigment," he said. "Also, sometimes a mutation takes place in the gene sequence or there is a deficiency of tyrosine."
The turtle, an adult Indian flapshell turtle of around one year old, has been released back into the wild. The turtle is commonly found in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar. It is omnivorous and its diet consists of frogs, snails and even some aquatic vegetation.
"We find turtles and crabs regularly and we rescue them and release them into the water. But this is the first time in Odisha and second time in India that an albino turtle has been found," said Pati.