Albinism in turtles is often different than it is in birds, mammals or even humans. Albino turtles tend to still have one pigment present in their bodies. As such, they can appear to be yellow or red, instead of just white. That said, turtles of this kind are always a fascinating sight to see. Their red eyes plus orange-tinged skins and shells make them look like tiny yet fiery fantastical creatures from another universe.
Albinism is most common in Sulcata turtles
Because of their special condition, these turtles often live a tough life in the wild
Despite their seemingly mystical appearance, life in the wild doesn’t come easy for these creatures. Just like other species with albinism, these turtles usually suffer from an impaired vision. This means that they can have a hard time hunting for food and seeing potential predators. Similarly, being yellow or red also makes it harder for them to blend in with their surroundings. Hence, predators can spot them more easily than their normal turtle counterparts.
So, they tend to have a relatively shorter lifespan than normal turtles
As a result, turtles with albinism have a shorter lifespan than normal turtles. Even so, they are still luckier than other albino animals. This is because they have hard shells that provide extra protection which other animals of the same condition don’t have. Nevertheless, albino animals are still rare, which makes them even more precious.
But thanks to their protective shells, these turtles can manage to outlive other animals with the same condition
Meet Hope, a pink-bellied side-neck turtle born with albinism and a heart beating outside of her body
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The day Hope arrived from @thealbinocollection vs today. It’s so crazy to see side by side ?? #hope #spreadhope #turtle #turtles #animals #reptiles #pets #nature #albino #heart #miracle #strength #health #science #anatomy #biology #wildlife #albinoturtle #oneofakind #pinkbellysideneck #happybirthday #swipeleft
Several months ago, a pink-bellied side-neck turtle captured the hearts of the online community. But there’s more to this turtle than just her color. She was actually born with her heart beating outside of her body. Thus, it’s only fitting that her owner named her Hope. Hope turned one year old just recently and she still continues to thrive.
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One year ago today @thealbinocollection gave me (all of us) the gift of Hope. At first I was really worried and nervous that I’d wake up one day and she’d be gone, but here we are a year later and Hope is thriving. Together we’ve brought strength and positivity and hope to millions of people around the world. A little love, support, and passion goes a long way. I’m forever grateful to have such a strong animal in my daily life, to give me strength to keep going when I feel like I’ve got nothing left. To give others strength when they too feel like they have nothing left. Thank you all for your love and support over this past year. We have a lot more positive vibes to spread together! #SpreadHope
Thanks to her loving owner, Hope continues to thrive up to this day
Her owner Mike documents her progress via his Instagram page. In an interview, Mike revealed that he immediately fell in love with Hope upon seeing her. “It was like seeing something that I couldn’t have ever imagined to exist,” he said. He also shared that albino turtles can be great pets too, just like cats and dogs. However, they do require a different level of care and treatment.
“They are very interactive and will beg you for food, they will pose for the camera and everything, but they are not meant to be handled. Don’t get me wrong they can be handled, but they are no dog or cat. They are happiest when you leave them alone!”
Check out these cool photos of other turtles with albinism that are a mix of different colors