In Brief

Sea Turtle 'Bank' Dies After 915 Coins Removed from Stomach

The female green turtle, nicknamed "Bank," underwent an operation to remove 915 coins from her stomach on March 6, 2017.
The female green turtle, nicknamed "Bank," underwent an operation to remove 915 coins from her stomach on March 6, 2017. (Image credit: Sakchai Lalit/AP)

After undergoing surgery two weeks ago to remove 915 coins from her stomach, a sea turtle nicknamed "Bank" died due to complications, according to news reports.

In Thailand, tourists throw coins at turtles due to a superstition that the activity brings longevity and good fortune. Bank swallowed the loose change that visitors tossed into her enclosure, which led to an 11-lb. (5 kilograms) mass in the sea turtle's stomach, Live Science previously reported. Veterinarians surgically removed the coins on March 6, in an hours-long procedure performed by five veterinary surgeons.

After the surgery, Nantarika Chansue, head of Chulalongkorn University's veterinary medical aquatic animal research center, where the sea turtle underwent the surgery, posted to her Facebook page that Bank was recovering well, reported CNN. [See More Amazing Animal Surgeries]

"She was swimming and eating normally for a week," Chansue wrote, according to CNN. "We planned to return her to the Royal Thai Navy turtle pond on Thursday."

Unfortunately, the sea turtle was found to be breathing too slowly on Sunday night (March 19). The veterinarians discovered Bank had a serious intestinal infection, and they performed an emergency surgery on Monday (March 20), CNN reported. The infection was too much for Bank to fight, however, and the sea turtle slipped into a coma before dying on Tuesday morning (March 21).

"We are all very sad," Chansue told CNN. "We tried our best, but due to her physical weakness and multiple complications, including toxicity in her blood system, she couldn't make it."

Bank's cause of death was blood poisoning, one of the vets told Reuters. An autopsy will be performed so the vets can learn from Bank and be better prepared to treat turtles in such a condition in the future, Reuters reported.

Original article on Live Science.

Kacey Deamer
Staff Writer
Kacey Deamer is a journalist for Live Science, covering planet earth and innovation. She has previously reported for Mother Jones, the Reporter's Committee for Freedom of the Press, Neon Tommy and more. After completing her undergraduate degree in journalism and environmental studies at Ithaca College, Kacey pursued her master's in Specialized Journalism: Climate Change at USC Annenberg. Follow Kacey on Twitter.