'Piggy bank' turtle slips into coma after op to remove coins

Mar 22, 2017, 00:36
'Piggy bank' turtle slips into coma after op to remove coins

A green sea turtle in Thailand who drew global sympathy when it emerged that she had consumed almost 1,000 coins thrown into her pool has died.

Tourists seeking good fortune had tossed loose change into a public pond where the turtle, nicknamed Bank, lived in Chonburi province, about 175 kilometers (110 miles) southeast of Bangkok.

Piggy Bank's shell was cracked, swollen and infected when she was found, leaving her rescuers anxious that she had a tumour.

"She at least had the chance to swim freely and eat happily before she passed".

Finally, despite the surgery, Piggy Bank slipped into a coma following a second operation and never woke up.

The coins were thrown into the pond by visitors hoping for good luck - a practice some hope will become less common after widespread coverage of the case in Thailand.

"'At 10.10am she went with peace..."

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Omsin, estimated to be 25 years old, had been rescued by Thai navy personnel who saw her visibly ailing in the seaside town of Sattahip.

She was said to have been doing well after that surgery but developed blood poisoning at the weekend, which doctors said was the cause of death.

Nantarika Chansue, of Chulalongkorn University's veterinary science faculty, urged people to pray for Omsin in a Facebook post on Monday. Many of them had corroded or partially dissolved. "We tried our best but due to her physical weakness and multiple complications including toxicity in her blood system, she couldn't make it".

However, Piggy Bank's popularity and the number of coins she ingested led to the shortening of her own life.

Many Thais believe that throwing coins on turtles will bring longevity.

Five surgeons from Chulalongkorn University's veterinary faculty patiently removed about 915 coins worth about $57 while the turtle was under general anesthesia.

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