HATTERAS, N.C. (WAVY) — Sea turtle nests are now hatching at Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

According to Seashore officials, the first nest hatched on July 23. Since then, several more have hatched and park biologists have begun nest excavations.

During one of the excavations on July 27, a live, leucistic loggerhead sea turtle was found at the bottom of the nest chamber. The turtle was later released that evening making its way into the Atlantic Ocean.

According to officials, the genetic deviation is rare since they typically only see a few per year. Although it may look albino since it lacks the typical pigment and coloration of a normal loggerhead sea turtle, a leucistic turtle still has some pigmentation and its eyes are often normal in coloration.

Albinism is different since it occurs when there’s an absence of melanin, which makes the animal appear white with eyes pink in color.

Photo Courtesy – National Park Service