Veterinarians remove almost 1000 coins from turtle's stomach

A team of surgeons from Chulalongkorn University's veterinary faculty carefully removed the 915 coins, many of which had corroded or partially dissolved.

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.

CT scans revealed an enormous lump of metal lodged inside the turtle's stomach that had caused severe swelling, infections and a cracked shell.

We don't know how or when Omsin first came to the pond in Sri Racha, but she would hardly be the first turtle to undergo a ritual that long predates the best of advice of modern wildlife experts.

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

The endangered animal ate almost a thousand of them over the years after the money was thrown into her pool by wishful tourists.

They spent seven hours helping "Om Sin", half of the time scooping out the coins - both local and foreign - from its stomach.

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The green sea turtle had been living at a conservation centre in Sriracha, Chonburi, about an hour and a half south east of the capital Bangkok.

In Thailand, some people believe that it's good luck to throw a coin into a turtle pond.

Two weeks ago, the 25-year-old sea turtle, also known simply as Bank, was taken to veterinarians in Bangkok after it was found to be ailing and struggling to swim.

Folklore holds that a giant Thai turtle can live 1,000 years, Fox News reported during the zoo incident.

"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", said Nantarika Chansue, head of Chulalongkorn University's veterinary medical aquatic animal research center.

A campaign by Thai media last month to publicize Bank's story resulted in roughly 15,000 baht ($428) in donations from the public to pay for the turtle's surgery.

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