Beloved Sea Turtle Dies After Eating Almost 1,000 Coins Thrown in Her Pond

Posted by Amber King
sea turtle

Veterinarians hope this story of a turtle's death will make people think twice about where they throw their coins.

For two decades, a sea turtle nicknamed Om Sin, which translates to Piggy Bank, lived in a public pond about 100 miles outside of Bangkok, Thailand. With a life expectancy of close to 100 years, Bank should have lived several more decades. But the 25-year-old turtle died this week after surgery to remove nearly 1,000 coins from her stomach.

It was common practice for passerby to flip a good luck penny into the pond, and "feeding Piggy Bank" was a popular tradition. But the coins were nothing but bad luck for the turtle who mistook them for food.

person holding coins
Arab News

Animal advocates and veterinarians from the Chulalongkom University in Bangkok worked together to remove the coins and save the turtle's life. After a seven-hour surgery, 11 pounds of coins were taken from Bank's body. On March 6, they reported the sea turtle was well and recovering from surgery. Lead veterinarian, Nantarika Chansue, wrote on Facebook:

"She was swimming and eating normally for a week...we planned to return her to the Royal Thai Navy Turtle pond on Thursday. "

Bank had a few days where she was happy and healthy enough to swim unencumbered by the heavy weight in her stomach, but on Sunday night, her condition worsened. Her breathing slowed, and she developed a serious intestinal infection. On Monday, veterinarians took her into emergency surgery. But while under anesthesia, she slipped into a coma and never woke up.

vet with sea turtle

Bank died on Tuesday morning, and the official cause of death has been ruled as blood poisoning. Chansue told CNN:

"We are all very sad. We tried our best, but due to her physical weakness and multiple complications including toxicity in her blood system, she couldn't make it."

An autopsy is planned in hopes of learning more about sea turtles and how to help them in the future.

What do you think about Bank's death? Let us know in the comments.

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Beloved Sea Turtle Dies After Eating Almost 1,000 Coins Thrown in Her Pond