Thursday | October 19, 2017
About Us | Contact | Subscribe

Surgeons remove 915 coins swallowed by Thai sea turtle

Updated: 
March 15, 2017 - 12:05am

BANGKOK — Tossing coins in a fountain for luck is a popular superstition, but a similar belief brought misery to a sea turtle in Thailand from whom doctors have removed 915 coins.

Veterinarians in Bangkok operated on the 25-year-old female green sea turtle nicknamed “Bank,” whose indigestible diet was a result of many tourists seeking good fortune tossing coins into her pool over many years in the eastern town of Sri Racha.

Many Thais believe throwing coins on turtles will bring longevity.

Typically, a green sea turtle has a lifespan of around 80 years, said Roongroje Thanawongnuwech, dean of Chulalongkorn University’s veterinary faculty.

The loose change eventually formed a heavy ball in her stomach weighing 11 pounds. The weight cracked the turtle’s ventral shell, causing a life-threatening infection.

Five surgeons from Chulalongkorn University’s veterinary faculty patiently removed the coins over four hours while “Bank” was under general anesthesia. 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, one of the surgical team. While recovering in Chulalongkorn University’s animal hospital, the turtle will be on a liquid diet for the next two weeks.

Rules for posting comments