Health Care

Sea turtle which swallowed 1000 coins dies after surgery to remove them

Sea turtle which swallowed 1000 coins dies after surgery to remove them

Piggy Bank, a female green sea turtle, became famous with tourists who visited her as she ate almost 1,000 good luck coins donated by visitors to her home in the eastern town of Sri Racha.

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.

The cause of death was intestinal obstruction that blocked Omsin's protein intake, while nickel toxicity from the coins damaged her immune system, said Dr. Roongroje Thanawongnuwech, dean of the veterinary school at Bangkok's Chulalongkorn University.

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The turtle - nicknamed Bank - appeared to be doing well after the operation, but a checkup Saturday revealed problems with its intestines.

In Thailand it is commonly believed throwing coins on the turtles will bring good luck due to their usual lifespan of up eight decades. Doctors performed a second operation, but Bank never woke up and died Tuesday morning.

The reptile was thought to be recovering well from the pioneering seven-hour operation earlier this month to remove five kilograms (11 pounds) of coins lodged in her digestive tract - good luck pennies tossed into the pool she was kept in.

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The turtle ate so many that they eventually formed an 11lb (5kg) weight in her stomach, cracking her shell.

The green sea turtle typically has a lifespan of around 80 years, and is listed as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

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