An endangered sea turtle underwent surgery Monday after swallowing 915 coins thrown into her habitat by tourists visiting Thailand.
Bank, a 25-year-old green sea turtle, lived in a pond in the southern city of Si Racha frequented by tourists, who believed throwing spare change into the tank would bring longevity and good fortune, The Associated Press reported.
Doctors at the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok said the sea turtle was suffering from a life-threatening infection.
The 11 pounds of indigestible coins weighed down her stomach, causing a crack on her underside, the ventral shell.
They discovered the sea turtle was ill after a member of the Navy noticed she was floating in the water and not moving. Veterinarians then conducted a detailed 3D scan and found the collection of change.
Bank was under general anesthesia when a team of five surgeons was able to remove the coins in a four-hour surgery. The coins were partially dissolved or corroded, and had to be removed a few at a time since the 3.9-inch incision was too small to remove the entire collection at once.
In addition to the coins, surgeons also found two fish hooks.
Bank is now recovering at the animal hospital in Chulalongkorn University following the surgery.
"The result is satisfactory. Now it's up to Bank how much she can recover," said Pasakorn Briksawan, who was a part of the surgical team.
The surgery was paid for by a successful donation drive, where around 15,000 baht (over $400) was raised by the public.