Farmer Finds Rare Albino Indian Flapshell Turtle That Looks Like Melted Cheese

Rare turtles with an unusual yellow color have been making an appearance in multiple locations in India. The first one was spotted in Odisha’s Balasore district back in July. More recently, locals rescued yet another yellow turtle from a pond in Burdwan, West Bengal. Apparently, these are rare albino Indian flapshell turtles and people online are amazed by their bizarre appearance.

Generally, you will find Indian flapshell turtles in South Asian countries such as India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Pakistan. These freshwater turtles are a known omnivore, so their diet consists mostly of aquatic vegetation, fish, frogs, snails and shrimp. Although they are generally dark green and brown in color, these ones are bright yellow.

albino indian flapshell turtle
Debashish Sharma


albino indian flapshell turtle found in india
Debashish Sharma

Indian Forest Service officer Debashish Sharma took to Twitter to share some photos of the turtle rescued in West Bengal. As seen in the photos, the turtle features a yellow shell and skin. So, people couldn’t help but liken it to food such as a slice of cheese and an egg yolk. Well, we couldn’t agree more. It’s also worth pointing out that the turtle has a pair of pink eyes, which is indicates albinism.


Indian flapshell turtles are typically dark green and brown in color

indian flapshell turtle
Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)


Meanwhile, the ones recently spotted by locals have a yellow shell and skin. So, they’re actually albino Indian flapshell turtles

yellow turtle
Debashish Sharma



Siddhartha Pati, the executive director at the Association for Biodiversity Conservation, elaborated on the science behind the turtle’s unique appearance.

“It is a congenital disorder, and it is characterized by complete or partial absence of tyrosine pigment. Also, sometimes a mutation takes place in the gene sequence or there is a deficiency of tyrosine.”

Tyrosine is an amino acid that plays a vital role in the formation of melanin. As you might already know, melanin is the pigment that gives color to our eyes, hair and skin. It’s also the same pigment that’s responsible for the color of turtles’ shells. So, a lack or absence thereof results in turtles having unusual shell and skin colors like red, orange or yellow.

People couldn’t help but liken it to a variety of food items