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Thai 'piggy bank' turtle dies after 915 good luck coins were removed from its belly

Thai
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The green turtle named Omsin, -'piggy bank-' in Thai, underwent a seven-hour-long operation this month to remove 5 kg (11 lb) of coins which she had...

The green turtle named Omsin, "piggy bank" in Thai, underwent a seven-hour-long operation this month to remove 5 kg (11 lb) of coins which she had mistaken for food.

But Omsin, who lived at a conservation centre in Chonburi, east of the Thai capital Bangkok, was rushed into intensive care on Sunday night, breathing too slowly. She received an emergency operation on Monday, after which she went into a coma.

Tourists seeking good fortune had tossed loose change into a public pond where the turtle, nicknamed Bank, lived in Chonburi province, about 175 kilometers (110 miles) southeast of Bangkok. Eventually, the money formed a 5-kilogram (11-pound) weight that cracked Bank's shell.

Veterinarian Nantarika Chansue removed the coins March 6 in an hours-long operation. But a checkup Saturday revealed problems with the turtle's intestines and doctors performed a second operation.

In a Facebook posting, the veterinarian said Bank had not woken up since the operation and was in "very serious" condition.

Her fate had preoccupied Thais, who cherish turtles as a symbol of longevity, and the vets had urged people to pray for her recovery.

"Her cause of death is blood poisoning," one of the vets told reporters.

The gap in Omsin's stomach left by the removal of the coins caused her intestine to become strangled, blocking blood flow, the vets said. Acute infection in the intestine then caused blood infection.

They also said they would perform an autopsy on Omsin as a case study, which would benefit the treatment of turtles in the future.

"She is our teacher," another vet said.

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