• Dr Nantarika Chansue, of Chulalongkorn University

Ormsin in coma with slim chance of survival: chief surgeon

national March 20, 2017 16:20

Ormsin, the sea turtle that became an international celebrity after more then 900 coins were removed from her stomach in a six-hour operation, is now in coma and her chance of survival is slim, the tearful chief veterinary surgeon said on Monday.

The 25-year-old turtle’s condition deteriorated after an initial operation, forcing vets to carry out another  emergency operation at the weekend.

Dr Nantarika Chansue, of Chulalongkorn University’s veterinary centre, wept as he explained that Ormsin – which means piggy bank in Thai – was now in intensive care and being fed oxygen.

Dr Nantarika, chief surgeon, wept, saying the turtle now in the intensive care and was fed with oxygen. “The turtle is now in coma and her chance of surviving is less than 50 per cent,” she said.

We did not expect any complication to happen as the turtle seemed to recover very well, the doctor said. “It can swim, eat and has so good response that we plan to return it to a Navy sea animal centre in Sattahip this Thursday,” she said.

Her body is weak from high quantity of nickels in her blood stream. The nickels from the coins in her blood is 200 times more than normal, leading to low immunity and negative impacts on muscles and heart, the doctor said.

“Bank’s survival chance is slim, she said referring to Ormsin or piggy bank.

The vet team had operated six-hour operation last week to extract a total of 915 coins from her stomach. She swallowed the coins that were thrown into her pond by passers-by who are believed to have done so in the hope of longevity and good luck.

The vet team on Saturday performed an emergency on Ormsin 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.

Nantarika also called for people to stop throwing coins or other things into the ponds where animals live for their luck and longevity.

Please let the Ormsin’s case be the last one, she requested. “Ormsin is sacrificing itself to reflect the problems of wrong beliefs in Thai society. Everybody should cease behaviour that have impacts on other lives. We should also help by monitoring such behaviours. Please don’t push the sufferings and pains to the animals,” she said.

The team and she were very upset out of having bonded with the turtle for about a week.