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After a rare albino turtle hatches, ‘I just hope he survives out in the big sea’

(GIF via Australian Broadcasting Corp. footage)

See that little guy, motoring through the sand up there? His name is Alby, and he's brand new.

Alby — an extremely rare, extremely cool albino green turtle — hatched a few days ago on an Australian beach, according to a Facebook post from Coolum and North Shore Coast Care, a nonprofit group.

"May the oceans be kind to this unique little green turtle!" the Facebook post read.

The baby turtle was spotted in the sand by volunteers who were collecting data, the post noted. It "happily made his/her way across the dunes into the ocean" on Saturday, a day after his/her siblings hatched on Castaways Beach.

(Yeah, I'm not sure? Maybe Alby is actually a girl turtle? Sorry, I just picked a pronoun. Let's all blame patriarchy and move on.)


Meet Alby, the first ever albino green turtle we have come across in our 9 years of turtle monitoring. Alby was born at...

Posted by Coolum District Coast Care Group on Sunday, February 7, 2016

"It looked like a normal turtle hatchling, except that it had a white shell and it had little white flippers, and you could see a little bit of pink under its flippers," the group's president, Linda Warneminde, told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

She continued: "None of us had ever experienced or seen anything like that before, so we were all a little bit taken aback."

Yeah, that reaction makes sense. It's not like you see turtles like Alby every day.

"Albino hatchlings are extremely rare; it probably occurs at the rate of one in many hundreds of thousands of eggs that are laid," Queensland scientist Col Limpus told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Warneminde described Alby as a "pink-eyed, snow white" turtle; Peregian Beach resident Jayne Walton, who filmed Alby, called him "beautiful" in a BBC report.

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

Ah man, me, too, Jayne. The thing is, the odds aren't exactly in his favor here. I mean, hatchlings already have a pretty tough time. Plus, as Limpus pointed out, Alby will stand out, and won't be able to hide well from predators.

Here's the Australian Broadcasting Corp. again, with more:

Dr Limpus said in his 50 years of work with turtles, he was yet to see a record of an albino as a nesting turtle anywhere in the world, which suggested to him that they had a low survival rate.
"Normally they don't survive coming out of the nest and when they do they're abnormal and not well suited to the environment, which means the chance of survival is very slim," he said.

Welp. Good luck, Alby! Jayne and I are pulling for you.

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