Respected Sea Turtle Consumes 1,000 Coins Offered For Blessings; Sick and Undergoes Surgery

A venerated sea turtle in Thailand has undergone a successful operation with 915 metal coins extracted from her belly. 
 
Tourists threw coins to the giant turtle with the belief that they are saving money which Fortune will return to them in multiple blessings. The respected but ignorant turtle ate up all the coins and became sick, almost dying before a team of conservationists took it up for medical care.
 
Om-Sin ate metal coins to bring good karma to people
The people in the Gulf of Thailand believed that good fortunes would be brought to them if they shared their wealth via coin offerings with Om-Sin, the giant turtle. Om-sin is a Thai word for "piggy-bank", and the greedy turtle gulped hundreds of coins over the years to encourage the people to give more and supposedly obtain good karma for themselves. With time, the female green sea turtle was bulging with heavy coins and barely able to swim, weighed down with her metal meals and at the point of certain death.
 
A veterinary scientist with the Chulalongkorn University in Thailand, Nantarika Chansue, heard about Om-Sin and went to see her at the Sri Racha pond where she was. Chansue observed that the sea animal was weighed down and kind of sick; so she rescued her and other turtles from the pond. She brought the reptile to her turtle rehabilitation center where Om-Sin was placed under observation and money was raised for a CT scan to be done on her, The Washington Post reported.
 
915 slimy coins extracted from Om-Sin during surgery

A CT scan revealed that Om-Sin was awash with hundreds of metal coins and even a fishing hook. Five veterinary surgeons from Chulalongkorn University's veterinary faculty spend nearly seven hours to operate on the 130-pound sea turtle. They worked feverishly to get at the 11 pounds of metal treasure the sea animal had eaten, or rather swallowed, over the years. Eventually, 915 coins of Thai and foreign origins were extracted from the embattled animal.
 
Om-Sin is recovering slowly at the Chulalongkorn University's animal hospital and may undergo months of physical therapy before she gets back in top shape. She is now fed nutritional supplements and liquid diet to aid her recovery. Chansue advised people to stop offering coins to turtles with the hopes of obtaining good karma, but to rather put their money into a donation box for the care of the animals.
 
(iTech Post, NPR)
 
 
 
 
 
 

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