Omsin the turtle dies from eating coins tossed for good luck


A 25-year-old Thai sea turtle died from blood poisoning on Tuesday (March 21), never recovering from an operation to remove 915 coins from her stomach, which had been thrown into her pool for good luck, veterinarians said.

The green turtle named Omsin, “piggy bank” in Thai, underwent a seven-hourlong operation this month to remove 5 kg (11 pounds) of coins, which she had mistaken for food.

But Omsin, who lived at a conservation center 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.

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 a blood infection.