Coin-swallowing turtle dies (Updated)

Orm Sin under emergency care and close monitoring after the second operation on Saturday. The ailing sea turtle died on Tuesday morning, despite the best efforts of the veterinary team. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

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Orm Sin, the turtle who swallowed 915 coins and required an emergency life-saving operation has died after an unsuccessful second operation.

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Tuesday update

Suffering coin-swallowing turtle dies

Online reporters

Orm Sin the coin-swallowing sea turtle died on Tuesday morning after lapsing into a coma following a second operation to repair its tangled insides.

A CAT scan shows what was thought to be a tumour is actually an accumulation of almost a thousand coins.

The faculty of veterinary science announced on Tuesday afternoon that the surgery was unsuccessful and the 25-year-old sea turtle, affectionately nicknamed Orm Sin (piggy bank), had died around 10.10am.

After the first operation, the turtle's condition showed improvement and it could eat and swim.

However, veterinarians on Saturday decided on further urgent surgry after the turtle's condition deteriorated due to high levels of nickel in its body, absorbed from the coins.

The turtle had 200 times more than the usual amount of nickel in its blood, resulting in lowered immunity which affected its heart and muscles.

The turtle's intestines were also tangled. Its intestinal muscles were unable to recover due to loss of protein. This led to a buildup of toxins in its blood, vet Nantarika Chansue, director of Aquatic Animal Research Centre, said.

The team released a large amount of gas and fluid from its stomach and rearrange its intestines into the  right position. The turtle did not recover consciousness, showing only weak signs of life and needed oxygen and close monitoring.

All efforts were in vain. Vet Nantarika cried when she made the announcement at a media briefing.

She said the Orm Sin case had provided an essential lesson for them. A post-mortem examination would be performed for educational purposes.

Later, the Sea Turtle Conservation Centre in Rayong will preserve and stuff its carcass, also for educational use.

"I want the case of Orm Sin to be an example for people in general who may wrongly believe that throwing coins into ponds where there are live animals brings good fortune. It only hurts the animals," vet Nantarika said.

Monday's story

Orm Sin is seen after an operation on March 6. The turtle now is in serious condition. (Photos by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

Coin-swallowing turtle 'very serious', in ICU

Online reporters

Orm Sin (Piggy Bank in English), the turtle who achieved media fame after swallowing 915 coins and required an emergency life-saving operation, is in a "very serious" condition and needs more surgery, a veterinarian said on Sunday.

"Let's pray," Nantarika Chansue, a veterinary scientist, wrote on her Facebook page.

Orm Sin had appeared likely for a quick recovery after veterinarians and surgeons took the coins weighing five kilogrammes from her stomach on March 6. On Saturday, vets detected that the 25-year-old female turtle looked depressed and had a stomach ache due to complications from the surgery.

The coins removed from the turtle's stomach.

"Yesterday we did an emergency operation on Bank (Orm Sin) due to the complications," said the scientist at Chulalongkorn University's veterinary science faculty, who is a leading team member helping the animal.

Om Sin is staying at the faculty while recovering. When well, it will be sent back to the Royal Thai Navy's Sea Turtle Conservation Centre in Sattahip district of Chon Buri for full rehabilitation.

Its present condition was described by Ms Nantarika as "very serious". The turtle is still in ICU with no visitors allowed.

The update on Orm Sin was shared by the many people who follow Ms Nantarika's social media account with support pouring in for her team and the turtle.

Orm Sin swallowed the coins thrown into a pond by tourists when it was still at Koh Loy in Sri Racha district in Chon Buri.

The Sri Racha municipality sent the turtle to the conservation centre last month when it closed a bridge from the mainland to Koh Loy for maintenance.

It was sent to the university last month, but it could barely swim, and a CT scan showed the coins inside its body.


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