WE have all heard of the Yellow River and yellow ribbons, but a yellow turtle?
In a remote farm in the village of Sujanpur in Odisha’s Balasore district, excitement went a few notches higher when farmer Basudev Mahapatra spotted a yellow turtle enjoying a leisurely pace in his field on July 19.
Basudev decided to bring the reptile home but later surrendered it to forest officials, suspecting that the creature may be a rare find and perhaps, a protected animal under Indian law, forest official Susanta Nanda told local media.
Siddhartha Pati, executive director at the Association for Biodiversity Conservation, which works to protect wildlife and habitats, told international media it was the first time he had seen this kind of turtle.
Pati explained that the creature’s color is 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 has now been released into the wild in Balasore, added Pati.