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Doctors Remove 915 Coins a Good Luck Turtle Swallowed

Surgeons had a shell of a time saving this creature.

A team of veterinarians in Bangkok removed 915 coins from the stomach of a turtle who had swallowed the money.

The 25-year-old, 130-pound turtle, nicknamed Bank (it’s unclear if that name was given before or after this incident), had mistaken the change for food after people threw the currency at her. Tossing coins on turtles is considered to bring luck in Thailand, but Bank did not get that memo.

According to the AP, “The loose change eventually formed a heavy ball in her stomach weighing five kilograms (11 pounds). The weight cracked the turtle’s ventral shell, causing a life-threatening infection.” All those coins made it hard for Bank to swim, putting a whole new spin on that whole “you should wait at least an hour after eating to swim” thing you always hear.

It took surgeons four hours (although there is a conflicting report it took seven) to liberate the money, making them a sort of animal kingdom version of Coinstar.

Just because the surgery is behind her doesn’t mean the episode is totally finished. Bank will need a month to recover and have to complete six months of physical therapy. And she’ll have to be on a liquid diet for the next two weeks, which, as far as we know, may mark the first time a turtle has been ordered to undergo a cleanse.

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