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Goodbye, Banks: Endangered Sea Turtle Who Swallowed Nearly 1,000 Coins in Thailand Dies

Mar 23, 2017 03:58 AM EDT
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Banks or Omsin (meaning "piggy bank" in Thai language), the rare sea turtle who swallowed nearly 1,000 coins at a public pond in Chonburi province, Thailand, succumbed to death after suffering from blood poisoning.

According to reports, Omsin underwent surgery at the veterinary medical aquatic animal research center of Chulalongkorn University two weeks ago to remove the coins from his belly. The coins have already cracked the sea turtle's shell due to the heavy mass.

The doctors chronicled Omsin's progress and shared it on Facebook. They said Omsin is recovering and getting stronger. Washington Post noted that the sea turtle was even reintroduced to water in a large kiddie pool and practiced physical therapy for her to be able to swim again.

Omsin could swim again, at least that's what the doctors thought, until she started to become depressed and irritable. Few tests revealed that the sea turtle had developed a blood infection due to her entangled intestine. 

BBC cited that Omsin suffered from intestinal problems as the entangled intestines blocked blood flow. Omsin once again had an emergency surgery on Sunday. She went into a coma and died few hours after.

"We are all very sad," Nantarika Chansue, head of Chulalongkorn University's veterinary medical aquatic animal research center, 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."

Omsin was supposed to be released to the Royal Thai Navy Turtle pond this week. Unfortunately, she did not make it.

The coins that Omsin swallowed were from tourists throwing them at the pond in hopes of a good fortune and longevity. The superstitious belief had resulted to the practice which has been going on for years.

Omsin is a green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), named for the green color under its shell. National Geographic notes that they are among the largest turtles in the world. Their diet consists of grasses and algae. At present, they are classified as endangered species, and a subpopulation in the Mediterranean is listed as critically endangered.

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