Thai Surgeons performed a very special operation on Monday on one of the most remarkable patients they had ever seen. A twenty five pound green sea turtle underwent an emergency procedure to remove more than nine hundred coins that the animal had ingested while living in a pond frequented by luck seeking tourists.
The turtle, named Bank, had developed a life threatening infection from a crack in her shell that developed because of all the coins she had eaten. You are not going to believe this amazing story until you watch this video.
Many Thais hold the superstitious belief that placing a coin on a turtle’s back will bring good luck to them. Unfortunately, the practice has brought one unlucky turtle to the brink of death.
Meet Bank: She is a twenty five year old green sea turtle, one of the most endangered animals in the ocean. She has spent most of her life in captivity in a pool in the Eastern Thai town of Sri Racha. Yup. Just like the sauce.
Over the course of several years, Bank has swallowed more than eleven pounds of coins that Thai tourists have tossed into her pool. This led to a series of medical problems that included a cracked shell and a deadly infection.
On Monday, five veterinary surgeons from Chulalongkorn University operated on Bank, making a four inch incision in her back to remove nine hundred and fifteen coins. Bank was placed under general anesthesia for the procedure which lasted for over four hours.
They had to remove the coins a few at a time, and also recovered fish hooks.
One of the surgeons on the team, Pasakorn Briksawan, said “The result is satisfactory. Now it’s up to Bank how much she can recover.”
She will spend about two weeks at the veterinary medical aquatic animal research center while she recovers from the operation.
The director of the aquatic animal research center and surgical team leader,Nantarika Chansue, said “I felt angry that humans, whether or not they meant to do it or if they did it without thinking, had caused harm to this turtle.”
Green sea turtles have an average life expectancy of eighty years and are listed as an endangered species by the International Union for conservation of Nature.
After she was discovered by Thai Naval personnel last month, the news media has been trying to raise awareness to the animal’s plight. About four hundred and thirty dollars in donations to help cover the medical expenses has been raised by private donations from members of the public.
Some people have commented on Bank’s story, saying things like:
“Superstitions ravage our animal life, such as: the horns of certain animals are aphrodisiacs. Why is it ok for some peoples to destroy wildlife for nonsense such as this?!”
“I hope that Bank makes it.”
“Ignorant superstitions cause so much trouble in this world. “Drinking blood, eating flesh”, such absurd crap as that, just defies intelligent reasoning.”
Have you ever helped rescue a wild animal in need? Share your stories and good thoughts for Bank here.
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