Rare albino two-headed turtle is valued at £24,000 but collectors are reluctant to shell out because they fear it won’t live long, says owner
- The red-eared slider turtle was born on a farm in Bangkok, Thailand, in March
- Creature with rare mutation was christened Nop by its owner, Noon Ausanee
- Breeders said Nop is worth at least one million Thai baht (£24,000), she said
- Ausanee thinks the turtle will live a long time – but experts are not convinced
A rare two-headed albino turtle, valued at £24,000 ($31,500), has been filmed struggling on a short swim – and it’s also struggling to find a new owner because collectors don’t think it will live much longer.
The red-eared slider turtle, called Nop, was born with the rare mutation on a farm in Bangkok, Thailand, on March 3.
Its current owner, Noon Ausanee, had the creature valued and breeders gave it a price of at least one million Thai baht.
However, prospective buyers are concerned about the turtle’s life span – despite her reassurances that she thinks it will live for a long time.
Nop, a rare albino red-eared slider turtle, explores its blue plastic environment. It was born in March on a farm in Bangkok, Thailand
The turtle struggles to make its way around. Its owner, Noon Ausanee, has had Nop valued by breeders, who say it is worth one million Thai baht (£24,000)
Ausanee said: ‘I feel very lucky that this turtle was born. I would like to sell him. I have had some phone calls about him but it’s a lot of money and people are worried it could die quickly.’
The red-eared slider is a type of pond slider, which is a popular pet around the world.
What are red-eared slider turtles?
The red-eared slider (pictured) is so called as it has a red or orange (rarely yellow) streak behind each eye.
Originating in North America, they are mainly aquatic and will emerge from the water for basking.
Full-grown adults can reach 12 inches in length – and can live in excess of 20 years.
Unfortunately, baby Nop is not expected to live that long due to its mutation.
Turtles with two heads – a condition known as polycephaly – are considered rare and a number of them are kept in museums.
And, not surprisingly, an albino two-headed turtle is rarer still.
Ausanee added: ‘The turtle is two months old now and he is still strong.
‘We feed him every day and he eats it all.
‘I think he will live for a long time and bring a lot of good luck to whoever has him.’
Experts say that such a turtle should not be released into the wild as it is unlikely to survive on its own and might pass on the rogue gene.
A similar turtle was discovered on a beach in Florida two years ago.
The chances of any single hatchling surviving are extremely low, with anywhere from 1 in 1,000 to 1 in 10,000 infant turtles making it adulthood, according to statistics from the United States Sea Turtle Conservancy.
Red-eared sliders are a popular pet around the world – but collectors are concerned that one with a mutation such as Nop’s won’t live for very long. Despite concerns from prospective buyers, Ausanee thinks Nop will live a long time – and bring its new owner luck
In August 2017, a similar two-headed turtle (above) was found in a beach in Florida by researchers. While checking empty nests left by recently hatched loggerhead turtles, scientists spotted the reptile struggling to keep up with its fellow hatchlings