Hyderabad: On July 20, 2020, Susanta Nanda, a forest officer in India, has shared video and picture of a rare yellow turtle. He shared the video with the claim that a rare yellow turtle was spotted & rescued in Balasore, Odisha yesterday. Most probably it was an albino. One such aberration was recorded by locals in Sindh, a few years back.
Same pictures have been shared on Facebook page Odisha Paryavaran Sanrakshan Abhiyan - OPSA – Odisha, stating that 'This year both the white and yellow turtles have been spotted in #Odisha. Changes in colour may arise due to genetic abnormalities or loss of pigmentation among turtles. However, some studies have also indicated the effect of industrial wastes for such changes.'
Many social media users started believing this news as true.
The claim that yellow turtles are seen in Odisha is TRUE.
When searched with reverse image search and keywords 'Yellow Turtle in Balasore, Odisha', several results confirmed that this rare occurrence was reported on July 20, 2020.
A unique and rare yellow turtle was rescued by the locals from Sujanpur village in Soro block of Balasore district on Sunday. The locals then called the forest department officials to the spot and handed over the turtle to them. Speaking about the rescued reptile, Bhanoomitra Acharya, wildlife warden, said that it was a unique find and that he had never seen a specimen like this before.
"The whole shell and the body of the rescued turtle was yellow. It was a rare turtle, I had never seen one like this," Acharya said.
According to the CNN report, this rare turtle belongs to the species Indian Flapshell turtle and is approximately two-and-a-half year old. The creature's colour was due to albinism, a rare congenital disorder characterized by the complete or partial absence of tyrosine pigment.
NewsMeter also searched for the reports about yellow turtle found in the region of Sindh a few years back. We found a report in Tribune.pk, published in 2016, confirming the fact that yellow turtle was indeed found in the Sindh region of Pakistan in September, 2016.
Hence, the claim that a yellow turtle was found in Balasore, Odisha is TRUE.