Rare Yellow Flapshell Turtle Rescued in West Bengal, Netizens Compare it to Cheese and Egg Yolk

A yellow-coloured turtle is truly a rare sight to behold. Recently, a yellow flapshell turtle was rescued from a pond in Burdwan village in West Bengal. This is second such incident this year, while the other yellow turtle was spotted in Balasore district of Odisha back in July 2020. After its rescue, pictures of the reptile were posted on Twitter by Indian Forest Service Officer, Debashish Sharma. The turtle has become an online sensation ever since, with over seven thousand likes.

Rare Yellow Flapshell Turtle Rescued in West Bengal

A rare yellow flapshell turtle in West Bengal | Image: Twitter @deva_iitkgp

According to the experts, the rare colour of the turtle is attributed to the deficiency of pigment called tyrosine, which is present in high amounts in reptiles including crocodiles. It is believed that the absence of colouring pigment is possibly owing to genetic mutation or congenital disorder.

The turtle species, Indian flapshell turtle or Lissemys punctate, has softshell and mostly lives in a freshwater ecosystem. They are omnivores and usually eat frogs, snails, and aquatic vegetation. These turtles can be commonly found in South Asian countries like Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar.

Wildlife biologist Sneha Dharwadkar also mentioned that the albino flapshell is growing more and more common. She said,

There have been multiple reports of albino or leucistic individuals from across India. They lack melanin but one pigment usually remain present which is why they can appear yellow or even red instead of white.

India’s Turtle Survival Alliance director Shailendra Singh said that similar coloured flapshells were found in neighbouring regions in 2019 and 2020. He also noted that the main concern linked to the discovery of these turtles in their increased defenselessness to trafficking.

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