BANGKOK (AP/CBS NEWS) — A sea turtle nicknamed “Piggy Bank” after swallowing nearly 1,000 coins died Tuesday after undergoing two surgeries to remove the money from her stomach.
The 25-year-old sea turtle in Bangkok, Thailand, fell into a coma after experiencing intestinal problems during her second procedure on Sunday. Doctors told BBC News the large sea creature died from blood poisoning, which she developed after the initial seven-hour operation on March 6 to remove coins weighing a total of 11 pounds from her body. During that surgery, five surgeons from Chulalongkorn University’s veterinary faculty patiently removed the coins over four hours while “Piggy Bank” was under general anesthesia. The stash was too big to take out through the 10-cm (4-inch) incision they had made, so it had to be removed a few coins at a time. Many of them had corroded or partially dissolved.
The sea turtle’s 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.
Many Thais believe that throwing coins on turtles will bring longevity.
Typically, a green sea turtle has a lifespan of around 80 years, said Roongroje Thanawongnuwech, dean of Chulalongkorn University’s veterinary faculty. It is listed as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
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