Sea Turtle Named ‘Bank’ Dies After Surgery To Remove 915 Coins

An endangered green sea turtle named “Bank” has died just weeks after undergoing a four-hour surgery in Thailand to remove nearly 1,000 coins from her stomach.

The 25-year-old turtle ultimately suffered from blood poisoning from the estimated 11 pounds of metal that had been tossed into her pool over the years for good luck, veterinarians said.

“She at least had the chance to swim freely and eat happily before she passed,” Dr. Nantarika Chansue, who led the team that removed 915 coins on March 6, told The Associated Press.

BANGKOK, THAILAND – MARCH 06: An officer shows the coins that the Sea Turtle ate over the years collected in two big glasses, in Bangkok, Thailand on March 06, 2017.  (Photo by Guillaume Payen/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)


The turtle named Omsin, which means “bank” or “piggy bank” in Thai, was brought to vets earlier this month after it was found struggling to swim by sailors near the town of Sri Racha. Throwing coins on the back of turtles is an old Thai superstition that’s believed to give the person longevity, according to the AP.

Vets said they expected her to take about a month to recover from the surgery before undergoing physical therapy. But on Sunday, she was rushed into intensive care when found to be breathing too slowly. During an emergency operation on Monday, she fell into a coma that she didn’t wake up from, Reuters reported.

Video and photos posted to a Facebook page belonging to Chansue showed doctors working to save the turtle.

“At 10:10 a.m. she went with peace,” Chansue later told reporters.”

The Sea turtle was suffering from various diseases due to the large quantity of coins that the animal ate over the year at the bottom of the pond. Veterinarian Nantarika Chansue wrote on her Facebook Page, to ask people not to throw coins at aquatic life. Chansue hopes the turtle’s loss will serve as a wake-up call to end the superstitious practice.

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