Veterinarians remove almost 1000 coins from turtle's stomach

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Five surgeons from Chulalongkorn University's veterinary faculty patiently removed the coins over four hours while "Bank" was under general anesthesia. Throwing coins onto turtles, according to Thai superstition, brings longevity to the thrower.

For years, she lived in a local turtle pond, where she lay in a pool all day and received visitors who threw coins into her habitat for good luck. A crack in the turtle's ventral shell had caused a life-threatening infection.

She will be on a liquid diet for the next two weeks while she heals from the trauma of her injuries and the surgery.

The endangered animal ate almost a thousand of them over the years after the money was thrown into her pool by wishful tourists.

The green sea turtle had been living at a conservation centre in Sriracha, Chonburi, about an hour and a half south east of the capital Bangkok. By the time it was over, veterinarians had removed approximately 11 pounds of coins, many of which were corroded, Reuters reported. After that, Osmin will undergo six months of physical therapy.

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In Thailand, some people believe that it's good luck to throw a coin into a turtle pond.

Typically, a green sea turtle has a lifespan of around 80 years, said Roongroje Thanawongnuwech, dean of Chulalongkorn University's veterinary faculty.

The surgical team found the ball too large to take out through a 10cm incision and were forced to remove them individually.

Chansue said Omsin, whose name means "piggy bank", was brought to her when the animal's health began to fail and a CT scan revealed the cause of Omsin's discomfort - a giant clump of coins in her abdomen.

The turtles plight has received publicity in Thailand media, leading residents to raise donations to pay for the surgery.

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