Thai vets remove almost 1000 coins from turtle

Toni Houston
March 7, 2017

Many Thais believe throwing coins on turtles will bring longevity.

Nantarika Chansue, a veterinary scientist at Chulalongkorn University and the country's leading expert on sea turtles, said Omsin the turtle spent years living in a pond in Sri Racha, where residents and visitors would throw coins to the amphibian as part of a good luck ritual.

Osmin, which means "piggy bank" in Thai, is now recouperating. However, the species is listed as "endangered" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with its population in the wild shrinking and at a growing risk of extinction.

Coins that are found inside the stomach of "Om Sin" the turtle during a surgery at the veterinarian science of Chulalongkorn University on Monday.

The stash was too big to take out through the 3.9-inch incision they had made, so the coins had to be painstakingly taken out a few at a time.

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 result is satisfactory. Now it's up to Bank how much she can recover", said Pasakorn Briksawan, a member of the surgical team, to the Associated Press.

The patient is now recovering in Chulalongkorn University's animal hospital.

It was only after carrying out a detailed 3D scan that veterinarians pinpointed the weighty and unexpected problem.

In addition to the coins, surgeons also found two fish hooks. After that, Osmin will undergo six months of physical therapy.

"I felt angry that humans, whether or not they meant to do it or if they did it without thinking, had caused harm to this turtle", she said, according to the AP.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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