The mutant two-headed turtle that astonished conservationists at a marine sanctuary on a paradise island has died just three days after hatching.
The green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) hatched at the Mabul Turtle Hatchery on Mabul Island off the coast of the north-eastern Malaysian state of Sabah.
The hatchling was one of 93 in the nest, according to the Mabul Turtle Hatchery, the conservation arm of the scuba dive company Scuba Junkie.
When it hatched, company chairman Mohd Khairuddin Riman said that they have released around 13,000 hatchlings in the past, but had never seen a turtle with two heads before.
However, veterinarian Dr. Sen Nathan said that a two-headed turtle hatched on Redang Island in 2014. The hatchling was monitored for three months before dying of pneumonia.
Therefore, conservationists were not surprised when the two-headed green sea turtle died, although they were disappointed that it only survived for three days.
Sabah Wildlife Department director Datuk Augustine Tuuga told local media: “It is common for two-headed hatchlings to not last very long.”
Earlier this week, Scuba Junkie marine biologist and conservation manager David McCann said that both heads breathed separately and reacted independently of each other.
He added: “It is fascinating. The right head seems to control the front right flipper, and the left head the front left flipper. Yet they are capable of coordinating their movements to walk and swim.”
The two-headed hatchling was being kept in shallow water to allow it to breathe easily before dying suddenly.
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