SRI RACHA, THAILAND — A team of veterinarians worked hours to remove more than 900 coins from the stomach of an endangered turtle found Monday in Sri Racha, Thailand.
According to Thai tradition, tossing coins into a turtle pond can bring long life. Whether that’s true for the humans tossing the coins depends on your religious affiliation. However, it was certainly not the case for one poor 25-year-old female green sea turtle, the Associated Press reported.
Unable to digest the coins, the turtle was taken to Chulalongkorn University for treatment by the Thai navy. She had swallowed 11 pounds of currency, a load so heavy it cracked her ventral shell, causing a life-threatening infection.
A CT scan showed that 915 coins were lodged inside the turtle’s digestive system.
Surgeons from the school’s veterinary faculty spent over four hours removing the coins bit by bit through a 4-inch incision. The turtle — nicknamed “Om-Sim,” or “Bank” in Thai — is recovering in the university’s animal hospital. It’s currently on a liquid-only diet.
Nantarika Chansue, one of the surgeons who operated on Om-Sim, urged Thais to please stop throwing their dang coins into turtle ponds. She also thanked the kind souls who donated $428 for the turtle’s medical bills, the Bangkok Post reported.