Locals mourn as beloved coin-swallowing turtle suddenly dies after surgery

Helena Horton

It was hailed as somewhat of a medical miracle when Thai vets managed to save a sea turtle nicknamed "Piggy Bank", who had swallowed nearly one thousand coins.

However, the turtle took a turn for the worse, vets said on Tuesday, and suddenly died.

The reptile, also known as Omsin, was thought to be recovering well until she got blood poisoning and there was nothing vets could do to save her.

Over the weekend, she developed blood poisoning from severe intestinal problems after swallowing the coins.

The turtle was thought to be recovering wellCredit: Reuters

A tearful vet spoke to reporters on Tuesday morning.

Local vet Nantarika Chansue told local media: "At 10:10am she went with peace.

"She is my friend, teacher and patient".

The coins swallowed by the turtleCredit: AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit

Veterinarians in Bangkok operated last Monday on the 25-year-old female green sea turtle whose indigestible 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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