Australia

'Beautiful' albino turtle found on Australia beach

Picture of an albino turtle Image copyright Coolum and North Shore Coast Care
Image caption The volunteer group that found the albino turtle named it "Alby"

Wildlife volunteers say they were stunned to find an extremely rare albino turtle on a beach in Australia.

The tiny creature was one of 122 hatchlings from a green turtle nest on Castaways Beach on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.

The volunteers from Coolum and North Shore Coast Care were surveying the nest on Sunday when they found it.

"It was very chipper and just took off into the water as happy as can be," said group president Linda Warneminde.

"He wasn't sick, he was just white," she told the BBC.

Image copyright Coolum and North Shore Coast Care
Image caption Albino green turtles are extremely rare and may have a low rate of survival, experts were quoted as saying

Ms Warneminde said typically only one in 1,000 green turtles survived to maturity and experts believed the chances for an albino turtle were even lower.

But Peregian Beach resident Jayne Walton, who filmed the turtle, said she was very excited about the experience.

"He was beautiful, you could see his flippers were pink, like the blood flowing," Ms Walton said.

"I just hope he survives out in the big sea. He was very fast, very keen to get in the water."

An expert quoted by the Australian Broadcasting Corp said that albino green turtle hatchlings occurred at a rate of one in many hundreds of thousands.

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