A Thai turtle’s taste for coins proved costly after 5kg were removed from its stomach by surgeons. It later died of complications.
The sorry tale of a turtle in Thailand seen listing to one side after bingeing on coins has ended in the death of ‘Bank’, following two surgeries in two weeks.
Living in a pond, Bank was dining on the coins tourists threw in it for good luck before the problem emerged.
Almost 1,000 coins, weighing 5kg, were removed from Bank’s stomach in a four-hour operation two weeks ago. At first, this was deemed a success.
Bank was doing well and, despite risks of dangerous infections on the back of his shell, which cracked due to the weight of the coins, hopes were high for a full recovery.
However, in the last few days, Bank’s health deteriorated and an intestinal obstruction eventually led to the turtle’s death.
Reuters reports that the void created by the removal of so many coins meant the intestines got strangled up.
According to Associated Press, the intestinal obstruction blocked the turtle’s protein intake, while nickel toxicity from the coins damaged her immune system.
The turtle had appeared to be doing well after the operation, but a check-up over the weekend showed cause for concern with hints that her intestines were in trouble.
Doctors performed a second operation, this time lasting two-and-a-half hours, though the turtle never woke following the procedure.
“She at least had the chance to swim freely and eat happily before she passed,” said Dr Nantarika Chansue, who led the team for the first surgery.
“We are all very sad,” Chansue told CNN. “We tried our best, but due to her physical weakness and multiple complications, including toxicity in her blood system, she couldn’t make it.”
The team of vets that worked on Bank said the autopsy would prove a case study that could benefit the species in general.