Thai surgeons on Monday performed an emergency operation to avoid breaking the “Bank” — the nickname of a sea turtle who had ingested 915 coins that were cracking its shell.
Veterinarians in Bangkok operated on the 25-year-old female green sea turtle who had been inadvertently fed a diet of coins by luck-seeking tourists. Surgeons made a 4-inch incision in Bank, removing 11 pounds of coins that had cracked part of its shell — causing a life-threatening infection.
Many Thais believe throwing coins on turtles will bring longevity, and nearly a thousand tossed coins at Bank in her pool in the eastern town of Sri Racha.
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.
Five surgeons from Chulalongkorn University’s veterinary faculty patiently removed the coins over four …