A rare turtle with a golden shell discovered for the first time in Nepal is being hailed as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Many are claiming that the unique turtle is an avatar of Lord Vishnu and has divine qualities. Also Read - Rare Yellow Turtle Rescued in Odisha's Balasore District, Pictures Go Viral | See Pics
The turtle was found in the Dhanushadham Municipality, a part of Nepal’s Dhanusha District. Mithila Wildlife Trust which identified the animal as an Indian flap shell turtle said the creature gets its unique colouration from an ultra-rare genetic mutation called chromatic leucism that alters its pigmentation.
After the discovery, Kamal Devkota, a reptile expert noted that the creature had a deep spiritual significance in Nepal.
“Not only golden animals but turtles overall have significant religious and cultural value in Nepal. It is believed that Lord Vishnu [one of the most prominent of the Hindu gods] took the form. of a turtle to save the universe from destruction in his incarnation. In Hindu mythology, the upper shell of the turtle denotes the sky and lower shell denotes earth,” Devkota told The Daily Mail.
He also said that the turtle avatar of Vishnu is known as Kurma and is worshipped in various temples.
“This is the first record in Nepal of chromatic leucism in this turtle, Lissemys punctata andersoni, and only the fifth in the species worldwide. So, we can say that this is one unusual discovery!” Devkota added.
The turtle was released into its natural habitat after pictures were taken as proof.