This Sea Turtle Ate 11 Pounds of Coins

This Sea Turtle Ate 11 Pounds of Coins

During the four-hour-long operation, five surgeons from Chulalongkorn University's veterinary faculty patiently removed the coins, while "Bank" was under general anesthesia.

Associate Professor Nantarika Chansue at Chulalongkorn University said, "Unfortunately the turtle was raised in a public enclosure where people like to throw in coins".

Veterinarians in Bangkok operated on the female green turtle - nicknamed "Bank" - after she had snaffled nearly 1,000 coins, thrown into her pool over many years by luck-seeking tourists.

CT scans revealed an enormous lump of metal lodged inside the turtle's stomach that had caused severe swelling, infections and a cracked shell.

For a sea turtle named Omsin-meaning piggy bank in Thai-it meant a serious case of indigestion.

The green sea turtle, living at a conservation center in Sriracha, Chonburi, east of the Thai capital of Bangkok, had been finding it hard to swim normally because of the weight.

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The coins, many of which had corroded or partially dissolved, formed a heavy ball in Bank's stomach and caused the crack in the ventral shell.

The veterinarians first discovered Bank's ailment after the navy found her and brought her in. Two fish hooks were also removed.

"I hope this case taught us not to throw coins into any pond with animals in it", Chansue wrote on Facebook. The vets pulled more than 900 coins out of her belly. She said the sea turtle would then undergo six months of physical therapy.

Folklore holds that a giant Thai turtle can live 1,000 years, Fox News reported during the zoo incident.

The turtles plight has received publicity in Thailand media, leading residents to raise donations to pay for the surgery.

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