Coin-swallowing turtle takes turn for worse

The coin-swallowing turtle, covered with a towel, receives oxygen and a saline drip in ICU after a second operation on Sunday. Wichan Charoenkiatpakul

The coin-swallowing turtle has a slim chance of survival after lapsing into a coma following an operation to remove more than 900 coins from its stomach two weeks ago.

Vet Nantarika Chansue, director of Aquatic Animal Research Centre of Chulalongkorn University's Faculty of Veterinarian Science, yesterday admitted the 25-year-old sea turtle, called Orm Sin (piggy bank), "had less than a 50% chance of surviving".

A veterinarian team on Sunday needed to perform an urgent operation on the female turtle after its 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 low immunity which affected its heart and muscles.

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