Tiny, rare albino turtle found on Sunshine Coast beach
A TINY, pink-eyed, snow white turtle has been found by a volunteer environmental group on the Sunshine Coast in what is being described as a first in years.
The extremely rare albino green turtle was spotted on Castaways Beach.
About five centimetres in diameter, it was found by environmental volunteer group Coolum and North Shore Coast Care.
In a post on its Facebook site, the group said it was the first ever albino Green turtle they had come across in its nine years of turtle monitoring.
"Alby was born at Castaways Beach and happily made his/her way across the dunes into the ocean yesterday.
"Alby was the straggler in the nest, with his siblings having hatched on Friday evening when no-one was watching.
"Our volunteers found him just under the sand when collecting the data from the hatched nest.
"Alby was one of 122 hatchlings that are making the journey from the Castaways nest to the continental shelf. May the oceans be kind to this unique little green turtle! "
President Linda Warneminde told the ABC she was shocked at the "pink-eyed, snow white" turtle left in what she thought was an empty nest.
"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," she said.
"None of us had ever experienced or seen anything like that before, so we were all a little bit taken aback."
The Queensland's Government's Threatened Species Unit chief scientist, Dr Col Limpus, said the volunteers were right to be shocked as the sighting was very rare.
"Albino hatchlings are extremely rare; it probably occurs at the rate of one in many hundreds of thousands of eggs that are laid," he said.