'Piggy Bank' sea turtle in Thailand dies after surgery to remove 915 coins

By Park Sae-jin Posted : March 22, 2017, 17:23 Updated : March 22, 2017, 17:23

[Courtesy of Nantarika Chansue / Facebook]

San Francisco, USA - A 25-year-old female green sea turtle, later named 'Omsin' which means Piggy Bank in Thai, was first discovered floating with broken shell in Royal Thai Navy Turtle pond in early February.

Air and Coastal Defense Command officials immediately transferred Omsin to Chulalongkorn University's veterinary science facility in Bangkok. Doctor Nantarika Chansue, head of the university's aquatic animal research center, and her team initially thought the turtle had tumors, but they were shocked to find 11 pounds of coins inside her stomach. The hungry turtle had been swallowing coins that visitors threw into the pond she was living in for good luck. The coin pile in her stomach grew so massive that it made her abdominal shell crack. From the internal injury, she developed lung inflammation and could not dive, according to Bangkok Post. 

Dr. Chansue and her team successfully removed 915 coins on March 6, and it seemed like Omsin was recovering well. The doctor wrote on her Facebook page that the turtle was swimming and eating normally. She added Omsin was expected to be returned to the pond on Thursday. 
However, she had to get another emergency corrective surgery on March 18 because the empty space in her digestive system caused complications. After the operation, Omsin slipped into a coma.

Unfortunately, Omsin died on Tuesday morning. Dr. Chansue posted the sad news on her Facebook page. Her post was shared over 27,000 times and garnered over 53,000 reactions in less than 24 hours since it was posted. 

[Courtesy of Nantarika Chansue /Facebook]

Reporter Kwak, Min Jung [abiel@ajunews.com]
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