March 23, 2017

'Bank' the turtle dies after swallowing 900 coins thrown into her pond

21 March 2017, 02:00 | Darnell Patrick

Turtle who had operation after eating 915 coins dies

Thais shell-shocked as coin-swallowing turtle dies

After having almost a thousand coins removed from its stomach in a four-hour operation two weeks ago, the turtle - nicknamed "Omsin", or "Piggy Bank", - died Tuesday.

She received an emergency operation on Monday, after which she went into a coma.

"Her cause of death is blood poisoning", one of the vets told reporters.

The condition of Omsin, Thai for "piggy bank, " improved considerably after the operation, and she could be seen swimming after being unable to move her limbs earlier.

Vets said they would perform an autopsy on Omsin as a case study, which would benefit the treatment of turtles in the future.

An officer shows the coins the turtle ate over many years.

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Five surgeons from Chulalongkorn University's veterinary faculty removed the coins over four hours while the turtle was anaesthetised.

Tourists seeking good luck had tossed loose change into a public pond where Bank lived, in Chonburi province, about 110 miles south east of Bangkok, Thailand.

In Thailand it is commonly believed throwing coins on the turtles will bring good luck due to their usual lifespan of up eight decades. Eventually, the money formed a weight that cracked Bank's shell.

In the weeks after the surgery, the turtle (pictured above recovering from her surgery) was put on a liquid diet. Some had corroded or partially dissolved.

Vets hope the media coverage of the stricken creature will make Thais think twice about throwing coins into ponds where animals live.

Omsin, a 25-year-old female green sea turtle weighing 59 kgms, was sent from a local turtle pond to the Thai navy's Sea Turtle Conservation Centre after the local operator closed down in June. She was then examined by a veterinarian, who found the coins inside her stomach.

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