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RIP Omsin, The Coin-Eating Turtle

Tears as Thai turtle 'Piggy Bank' famous for eating hundreds of coins dies after surgery

A female sea turtle nicknamed "Omsin" ("piggy bank" in Thai), which received worldwide media attention after swallowing nearly 1,000 coins weighing 5kg, has died of blood poisoning. Over time, the weight of the coins developed a crack on her shell.

"She is my friend, teacher and patient", said Dr. Nantarika Chansue, a veterinarian surgeon who removed 11 pounds of coins from the turtle's stomach on March 6, according to the Daily Mail. The turtle swallowed 915 coins that tourists threw into the pond. Sadly, the she slipped into a coma and died on the morning of March 21, the vet revealed.

Initially, it appeared that the dedicated work of Chansue and her colleagues would save Bank, but a follow up showed that the turtle was still plagued with intestinal problems.

Bank lived for two decades in a public pond in Chonburi province, about 110 miles (175km) south-east of Bangkok.

Omsin's improvement did not last long, however, as the veterinarians discovered her condition was suddenly deteriorating on Saturday.

After the initial operation, a gap left in Omsin's stomach caused her intestine to become strangled, blocking blood flow. Her operation had been reportedly crowdfunded though donations by the Thai public, which is now questioning the practice of throwing coins into water bodies for good luck.

Nantarika and her team have been taking care of the 25-year-old Omsin since they performed a seven-hour surgery early this month to remove the coins lodged in her digestive tract.

Her Facebook updates have received thousands of shares, an indication of how this story has captured the imagination and the hearts of many in Thailand, who see turtles as symbols of longevity.