A rare white sea turtle was spotted by a group of people led by a patrol unit on the beach of Kiawah Island, South Carolina on Sunday. The Kiawah Island Turtle Patrol was on a field trip accompanied by some guests that included students from the College of Charleston when they came upon the turtle. For everyone present on the scene, including people from the patrolling unit, it was the first time they saw the creature and were awed by its unique appearance.
“You can imagine the excited ‘oohs’ and the ‘aahs’ from the guests, including some (College of Charleston) students, when the patroller found a lone, leucistic hatchling in the nest,” read a Facebook post from the official account of the Town of Kiawah Island. The post also accompanied a few pictures of the white turtle on the beach.
The post also explained the condition, Leucism, the animal had due to which it had such a unique appearance. It also elaborated how it is different from albinism.
“Leucism is a condition where animals have reduced pigmentation. Leucism is different from albinism as albino animals have a complete loss of pigment, leaving them completely white with red or pink eyes,” the post added. A couple of pictures of a sand art showing a Beetle car were also added to the post.
The town authority had a discussion with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) in which it was decided to let the turtle be in its natural habitat, following which it was released. The town, however, added that they were not very optimistic about its survival, due to its odd appearance among its peers.
The post has been shared hundreds of times on social media and has garnered interesting comments from the netizens. One user marvelled at the rare creature and hailed the efforts of the patrol team, saying, “Amazing creation and a great job you have.” Another user commented, “This is so beautiful! Thanks to all of the Turtle Patrol Volunteers who protect and watch over these beautiful creatures!”