On Monday March 6, 2017, Thai naval personnel noticed a struggling green sea turtle in a conservation center located in Sriracha, Chonburi, just east of Bangkok. The sea turtle was taken from her good luck pond and brought to the Chulalongkorn University, where veterinarians did a CT scan and found 5 kilograms of metal mass inside of her.
The green sea turtle’s name is Omsin, which translates to ‘piggy bank’ in Thai. Her name is fitting because she lives in a pond where visitors throw coins for good luck, but what conservation staff didn’t know was that Omsin was actually ingesting the coins. When taken to the university, doctors found that Omsin was having a hard time swimming and was floating irregularly with her left rear end sinking. After the CT scan, they removed 915 coins from Omsin’s stomach. According to Nantarika Chansue from the university’s veterinary science faculty, the 25-year-old sea turtle weighed 59 kilograms and the 5 kilogram mass of coins constituted about 10 percent of her body weight.
To remove the coins, Omsin endured a seven hour long surgery. Chansue believes that Omsin will need a month to fully recover from the surgery and six more months of physical therapy to regain strength.