Thai vets remove hundreds of 'good luck' coins swallowed by sea turtle

Omsin, a 25-year-old female green sea turtle, rests next to a tray of coins that were removed from her stomach.
Omsin, a 25-year-old female green sea turtle, rests next to a tray of coins that were removed from her stomach.PHOTO: REUTERS
Thai veterinarians prepare to operate on Omsin.
Thai veterinarians prepare to operate on Omsin.PHOTO: REUTERS
Omsin, a 25-year-old female green sea turtle, rests after a surgical operation to remove coins from her stomach at the Faculty of Veterinary Science, Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok.
Omsin, a 25-year-old female green sea turtle, rests after a surgical operation to remove coins from her stomach at the Faculty of Veterinary Science, Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok.PHOTO: REUTERS
Thai veterinarians operate on Omsin.
Thai veterinarians operate on Omsin.PHOTO: REUTERS
 Officers count coins that were removed from the stomach of Omsin.
Officers count coins that were removed from the stomach of Omsin.PHOTO: REUTERS
A Thai veterinarian checks Omsin.
A Thai veterinarian checks Omsin.PHOTO: REUTERS

BANGKOK (REUTERS) - Thai veterinarians on Monday (March 6) removed 915 coins from a 25-year-old sea turtle which had been swallowing items thrown into her pool for good luck, eventually limiting her ability to swim.

The coins and other objects removed from the turtle named Omsin - piggy bank in Thai - weighed 5kg. The turtle itself weighed 59kg.

The green sea turtle, living at a conservation centre in Sriracha, Chonburi, east of the Thai capital of Bangkok, had been finding it hard to swim normally because of the weight.

The vets said they believed the seven-hour-long operation was the world's first such surgery.

 

"We think it will take about a month to ensure she will fully recover," said Nantarika Chansue, of Chulalongkorn University's veterinary science faculty, adding that the turtle would need six more months of physical therapy.

There was no immediate estimate of the value of the coins, some of them foreign and many corroded.