The coin-swallowing turtle weighed down by good will

Bad luck befell a Chon Buri marine animal forced into surgery for critically amassing 5kg of cash in her stomach, tiny tokens of well-meaning merit gobbled up from her pond

Merit-making is integral to Buddhist tradition. In this belief system, practising good deeds in daily life increases one's chances of getting into heaven and enjoying a blissful afterlife.

When Om Sin, a 25-year-old female sea turtle, was first brought to Chulalongkorn University's veterinary clinic after having difficulty swimming, the connection between her condition and Buddhist ritual wasn't clear.

Later, however, the veterinary team found out that the turtle's behaviour was attributable to 5kg of coins packed into her stomach. The coins, it seemed, had come from the pond where she lives, a place where people make a habit of depositing the tiny tokens for merit-making.

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