While many species of animals and plants already serve as eye-candy for many people, there are still many that remains a mystery and are even more fascinating than the ones we often see around us.
Just like in the case of animals born with Albinism or more commonly called “Albino Animals.” You have albino hedgehogs (aka spiky floofs, aka ouch mice) who look like they’re from another planet. Then you have albino zebras and albino lions who look like the most fashionable animals in the savanna, maybe even the world. Finally, you have albino turtles who are so freaking cool you have to see to believe it.
But, what is albinism?
Albinism occurs when an individual inherits one or more mutated genes from both parents that interfere with the body’s production of melanin, the main pigment that determines the color of skin, fur, and eyes. The production of melanin occurs within melanocytes, specialized cells that are present but not fully functional in albino mammals.
While many may think that Albino animals are all white in color, that is not the case with Albino turtles – sometimes, they’re red! This feature makes them look like tiny fire-breathing dragons or fantastical creatures from a parallel universe. Our planet is far from boring; we just need to be patient and look for amazing things like these turtles.
According to Bored Panda, one albino turtle that has caused a huge stir on the internet, in particular, is a pink belly side neck named Hope. Not only is she albino, but she was also born with her heart beating on the outside of her body! After she became an internet sensation, her owner Aqua Mike continues to take care of her. Hope turned 1 year old in November.
During his interview with Bored Panda, Mike recalls that he was “immediately in love” and it felt like he was seeing something that he couldn’t have ever imagined to exist.
Mike also said that there are different species of albino turtles. Some may appear to be a solid yellow without many patternings, like a red-eared slider, but the pink belly side necks are known to have pink on them when they aren’t albino, so that color stays in the albino variant as well.
According to Aqua Mike, albino turtles make amazing pets, but aren’t the same type of pet like dogs or cats: “They are very interactive and will beg you for food, they will pose for the camera and everything, but they are not meant to be handled. I always get asked what’s a good turtle I can get for my kids one that can be handled. Don’t get me wrong they can be handled, but they are no dog or cat. They are happiest when you leave them alone!”
The life of albino animals isn’t all peaches and cream. They usually have various health problems like poor eyesight, which means that they:
a) can’t find food as efficiently because they don’t have access to glasses;
b) can’t see predators approaching them from far away.
Additionally, being albino also means that predators spot you and target you, which is why a large number of albinos don’t survive childhood.
So, may this be an awakening to everyone that Albino animals are part of the animal kingdom too and they too need the care and attention we give to other normal animals. Plus, they even look extra pleasing to the eyes.