‘Piggy Bank’ turtle gets new operation as condition turns ‘very serious’

national March 20, 2017 01:00

By THE NATION

A VETERINARIAN team from Chulalongkorn University yesterday performed an emergency operation on a sea turtle, which was saved weeks ago after an operation to extract hundreds of coins from her stomach.



Dr Nantarisak Chansue, the chief surgeon, wrote on Facebook that she had decided to operate on Ormsin, or |“Piggy Bank”, due to complications from intestinal strangulation.

The condition might be because the turtle had more empty space in its torso from the first operation and its |body was adjusting itself, she said.

As of yesterday, the turtle was still in intensive care at the University’s Veterinary Faculty and no visits were allowed. “She is still in ICU. 

Very serious. Let’s pray for her,” Nantarisak wrote, adding that she was very worried about the situation.

The 25-year-old turtle was rescued from an abandoned pool in Chon Buri province. It had swallowed coins thrown into the pond by passers-by who are believed to have done so in the hope of longevity and good luck.

The vet team earlier this month removed 915 coins from her stomach. 

The hapless turtle underwent a seven-hour operation in Bangkok early this month to remove five kilograms of coins from its digestive tract. 

Hazards of throwing coins

The story of her plight and successful operation went viral, making headlines around the world. 

Her story also raised awareness about the hazards of throwing coins into ponds that might affect animals. 

The turtle’s plight is also connected to its age, as people were reportedly inclined to toss coins into the pond in hopes of similar longevity. 

The previous operation was deemed a success after Nantarisak reported a week ago that the turtle’s health condition had improved and it was swimming normally. 

Chulalongkorn vets said they hoped Ormsin would eventually be able to return to the sea because it could easily live for another 60 years.