Hope is a very special turtle. Not only is she an albino pink belly sideneck turtle, but she has a condition that’s so rare there’s no name for it when it occurs in animals. She was born with her heart on the outside of her shell.
Mike Aquilina, who goes by AquaMike23 on Instagram, received the turtle in November 2018 from a friend who is a turtle breeder. Everyone thought that Aquilina’s passion for animals would give the little turtle, named Hope, the best chance at life.
“Hope has impacted my life in so many ways it actually makes me emotional,” he told the Daily Mail in 2019.
In order to give Hope the best chance at survival, Aquilina has paid careful attention to her without providing too sterile of an environment.
“I keep her water extra clean, give her a basking area that is as soft as possible and handle her as little as possible,” he said.
“The goal is to keep her deformity clean and her immune system strong.”
Since Hope began living with Aquilina, he has shared updates on Hope’s progress on Instagram.
She has to live separate from other turtles in order to prevent another turtle from accidentally puncturing her heart cavity.
Despite her rare condition, she continues to grow and inspire others, including Aquilina.
“Just a casual reminder that now is not forever, if you’re struggling, hang on tight. The joy is in the journey. Keep working hard and doing your best everyday. The best is yet to come!!”
Share this unique turtle and inspire others to have a little hope!