‘Piggy bank’ turtle dies in Thailand after swallowing good luck coins

Omsin (25) died from blood poisoning after 915 coins removed from her stomach

A 25-year-old Thai sea turtle died from blood poisoning on Tuesday after swallowing coins thrown into her pool for good luck.

The turtle never recovered from an operation to remove 915 coins from her stomach, veterinarians said.

The green turtle named Omsin, which means “piggy bank” in Thai, underwent a seven-hour-long operation this month to remove 5 kg of coins which she had mistaken for food.

But Omsin, who lived at a conservation centre in Chonburi, east of the Thai capital Bangkok, was rushed into intensive care on Sunday night, breathing too slowly.


She received an emergency operation on Monday, after which she went into a coma.

Her fate had preoccupied Thais, who cherish turtles as a symbol of longevity, and the vets had urged people to pray for her recovery.

“Her cause of death is blood poisoning,” one of the vets told reporters.

The gap in Omsin’s stomach left by the removal of the coins caused her intestine to become strangled, blocking blood flow, the vets said.

Acute infection in the intestine then caused blood infection.

They also said they would perform an autopsy on Omsin as a case study, which would benefit the treatment of turtles in the future.

“She is our teacher,” another vet said.