Turtle's Coin-Eating Habit Proves Fatal

'Bank' dies 2 weeks after surgery to remove 11lbs of change from her stomach
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 21, 2017 7:59 AM CDT
Coins Thrown for Good Luck End Up Killing Turtle
In this March 3, 2017 photo, the female green turtle nicknamed "Bank" swims at Sea Turtle Conservation Center, Thailand. The 25-year-old turtle, who swallowed nearly a thousand coins tossed by tourists seeking good luck, died Tuesday, March 21, 2017, two weeks after surgery to remove the coins.   (Sakchai Lalit)

A 25-year-old sea turtle in Thailand who swallowed nearly a thousand coins tossed by tourists seeking good luck died Tuesday, two weeks after having surgery to remove the coins from its stomach, reports the AP. The cause of death was blood poisoning from the loose change, said Dr. Achariya Sailasuta, a professor at the veterinary faculty at Bangkok's Chulalongkorn University. "She at least had the chance to swim freely and eat happily before she passed," said Dr. Nantarika Chansue, who removed 11 pounds of coins from the turtle's stomach in an hours-long operation on March 6.

The turtle—nicknamed Bank—appeared to be doing well after the operation, but a checkup Saturday revealed problems with her intestines. Doctors performed a second operation, but Bank never woke up and died Tuesday morning. Bank lived in a public pond in Chonburi province, about 110 miles southeast of Bangkok. The turtle swallowed 915 coins that tourists threw into the pond. Eventually, the money formed a weight that cracked Bank's shell. (More sea turtle stories.)

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