A sad update to report: the coin eating sea turtle from Thailand has died after failing to recover from surgery to remove all the money tossed in by tourists.
Doctors said the removal of the coins had created a space in the turtle’s stomach that had probably blocked blood flow in her intestine. That became fatal after she suffered an acute intestinal infection.
It took Bangkok surgeons seven hours two weeks ago to remove 915 coins swallowed by a Thai turtle with the nickname Bank.
Bank has been suffering from chronic stomach ache after visitors tossed in coins into her tank. According to tradition, it’s good luck to toss coins into a fountain.
Tourists have been tossing coins into Bank’s pool for years in the eastern town of Sri Racha.
Last week, vets in Bangkok had to operate after the 25-year-old female green sea turtle’s suffering became unbearable.
Many Thais believe that throwing coins on turtles will bring longevity. But the coins eventually formed a 5kg ball in Bank’s stomach. The weight cracked her ventral shell, causing a life-threatening infection.
Five surgeons from Chulalongkorn University’s veterinary faculty removed the coins over four hours while Bank was anesthetised.
The ball was too big to take out through a 10cm incision, so it had to be removed a few coins at a time. Many of them had corroded or partially dissolved.
The result is satisfactory. Now it’s up to Bank how much she can recover,” said Pasakorn Briksawan of the surgical team.
The turtle, recovering in the university’s animal hospital, will be on a liquid diet for the next two weeks.
Bank was brought to the vets by the navy, which found her ailing in her seaside hometown.
h/t: Bangkok Post
Photo credit: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul