Turtle who underwent operation after eating 915 coins dies

Bank is treated before her second operation. Credit: AP

A 25-year-old turtle who underwent life-saving surgery two weeks ago to remove 915 coins from her stomach, has died.

It was initially thought that Bank was doing well following the operation, but the coins had poisoned her, a vet revealed.

Tourists seeking good luck had tossed loose change into a public pond where Bank lived, in Chonburi province, about 110 miles south east of Bangkok, Thailand.

In Thailand many believe that tossing coins on turtles will bring longevity.

However, Bank mistook the coins for food, eating so many that they eventually formed an 11lb (5kg) weight in her stomach, cracking her shell and causing a life-threatening infection.

Vet Nantarika Chansue removed the coins two weeks ago in an operation lasting hours, but a check-up on Saturday revealed problems with the turtle's intestines and doctors performed a second operation.

In a Facebook posting Dr Chansue revealed that Bank had not woken up since the operation and was in a "very serious" condition, and on Tuesday morning she died.

"She at least had the chance to swim freely and eat happily before she passed," Dr Chansue added.

Dr Achariya Sailasuta, a professor at Bangkok's Chulalongkorn University said Bank had died of blood poisoning from the coins she had eaten.

Green sea turtles are listed as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and have a lifespan of around 80 years.

Surgeons were shocked to find 915 coins in Bank's stomach. Credit: AP