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In pics: Thai vets remove 915 ‘good luck’ coins from turtle

The 25-year-old turtle, called ‘Omsin’ in Thai, underwent a gruelling seven-hour surgery on Monday to remove the five kilogramme hoard of coins.

world Updated: Mar 07, 2017 12:53 IST
AFP
In this photo released by Chulalongkorn University's veterinary faculty, veterinarians prepare to operate the female green turtle nicknamed
In this photo released by Chulalongkorn University's veterinary faculty, veterinarians prepare to operate the female green turtle nicknamed "Bank" at the veterinary faculty in Bangkok, Thailand, on March 6.(AP Photo)

A sea turtle dubbed ‘Piggy Bank’ has had her fortunes restored after Thai vets removed 915 coins from her stomach -- a deposit built up after years of gulping down good luck pennies tossed into its pond.

The 25-year-old turtle, called ‘Omsin’ in Thai, underwent a gruelling seven-hour surgery on Monday to remove the five kilogramme hoard of coins.

Veterinarians operated Monday on "Bank," removing less than 1,000 coins from the endangered animal. Her indigestible diet was a result of many tourists seeking good fortune tossing coins into her pool over many years in the eastern town of Sri Racha. (AP Photo)

She was sent to Bangkok vets with a cracked shell and an X-ray unexpectedly revealed the haul, which came in various currencies.

“There were 915 coins in her stomach, we removed them one by one,” said Nantrika Chansue, a veterinarian in charge of Chulalongkorn hospital’s aquatic research centre told AFP.

Thai veterinarians prepare to operate on Omsin, a 25 year old femal green sea turtle, to remove coins from her stomach at the Faculty of Veterinary Science, Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand March 6. (Reuters Photo)

“Piggy Bank is okay now but she will have to remain at the centre for up to two weeks,” the vet added, saying it was the first surgery of its kind.

The troubled reptile lived for two decades in a small public park in Chonburi Province.

Visitors tossed coins into her pond seeking to ‘make merit’ or good luck, a practice vets have urged the public to stop.

Screen show Thai veterinarians operate Omsin, a 25 year old female green sea turtle, during a surgical operation to remove coins from her stomach, during a news conference at the Faculty of Veterinary Science, Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. (Reuters Photo)

“A turtle can live up to 80 years and the belief is that throwing coins into the turtle pond will make the coin thrower live longer,” Rungroj Thanawongnuvej, Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Science at Chulalongkorn said in a statement.

“Throwing the coins is more bad karma because it is animal torture,” he said.