The rare bipolar pineapple turtle found on Mabul Island only survived a few days after hatching.
On July 15, Malaysian marine biologists found a rare bipedal turtle along with 90 other hatchlings on the small island of Mabul off the south-eastern coast of Sabah. However, the animal did not survive until a few days later, according to Sen Nathan, a veterinarian with the Sabah Wildlife Bureau.
“We have released about 13,000 baby turtles from the hatcheries, but we have never seen an individual so bipedal,” said Mohamad Khairuddin Riman of the SJ SEAS sea turtle nest watchdog.
Although rare, this is not the first time that a turtle has been found in Malaysia. In 2014, a similar case was found on the eastern island of the country. This animal survived for three months. However, most bipedal turtles find it difficult to persist in the wild for long due to difficulty in moving and feeding.
The pineapple scale is one of the largest species of sea turtle in the world, living mainly in tropical and subtropical waters. Adults can reach 1.5 m in length and weigh 68 to 190 kg. They are currently endangered in the Red List of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.