Rare albino turtle surfaces at Kellyville Pets

New addition: Luna, an albino short-neck turtle, is one of only 10 in captivity anywhere in the world. Picture: Isabella Lettini

New addition: Luna, an albino short-neck turtle, is one of only 10 in captivity anywhere in the world. Picture: Isabella Lettini

Meet Luna, one of the rarest animals in the world.

Luna is an albino short-neck turtle, of which only 10 are in captivity in the world, and Kellyville Pets is lucky enough to have one of them.

The store’s reptile manager Ben Dessen said the one-year-old turtle came as a surprise.

“She was from one of our regular turtle breeders and they rang us and said ‘we have something really special for you,’” he said.

“They had a big dam where all the turtles were hatched and out of the hundreds of babies there was one albino.”

While the albino turtles are rare in captivity, they’re even rarer in the wild.

Due to their lighter skin, albino turtles are an easier target for predators such as birds or large fish.

“Because they have no camouflage, they can get picked off fairly easily,” Mr Dessen said.

“If one had been born in the wild, it would be a miracle for it to make it as big [as Luna].”

Short-neck turtles can usually live until 60, growing to “as large as a dinner plate” according to Mr Dessen.

Pride and joy: Kellyville Pets reptile manager Ben Dessen with rare turtle Luna. Picture: Isabella Lettini

Pride and joy: Kellyville Pets reptile manager Ben Dessen with rare turtle Luna. Picture: Isabella Lettini

While Luna won’t be sold from the store, where she’ll be kept as a store pet, her offspring will be.

Mr Dessen said there is a high chance there could be more albino turtles like Luna on the way.

“If she breeds with normal turtles, there’s a 25 per cent chance they’ll have the albino gene,” he said.

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