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Coin-swallowing turtle dies (Updated)

Orm Sin under emergency care and close monitoring after the second operation on Saturday. The ailing sea turtle died on Tuesday morning, despite the best efforts of the veterinary team. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

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Orm Sin, the turtle who swallowed 915 coins and required an emergency life-saving operation has died after an unsuccessful second operation.

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Tuesday update

Suffering coin-swallowing turtle dies

Online reporters

Orm Sin the coin-swallowing sea turtle died on Tuesday morning after lapsing into a coma following a second operation to repair its tangled insides.

A CAT scan shows what was thought to be a tumour is actually an accumulation of almost a thousand coins.

The faculty of veterinary science announced on Tuesday afternoon that the surgery was unsuccessful and the 25-year-old sea turtle, affectionately nicknamed Orm Sin (piggy bank), had died around 10.10am.

After the first operation, the turtle's condition showed improvement and it could eat and swim.

However, veterinarians on Saturday decided on further urgent surgry after the turtle's condition deteriorated due to high levels of nickel in its body, absorbed from the coins.

The turtle had 200 times more than the usual amount of nickel in its blood, resulting in lowered immunity which affected its heart and muscles.

The turtle's intestines were also tangled. Its intestinal muscles were unable to recover due to loss of protein. This led to a buildup of toxins in its blood, vet Nantarika Chansue, director of Aquatic Animal Research Centre, said.

The team released a large amount of gas and fluid from its stomach and rearrange its intestines into the  right position. The turtle did not recover consciousness, showing only weak signs of life and needed oxygen and close monitoring.

All efforts were in vain. Vet Nantarika cried when she made the announcement at a media briefing.

She said the Orm Sin case had provided an essential lesson for them. A post-mortem examination would be performed for educational purposes.

Later, the Sea Turtle Conservation Centre in Rayong will preserve and stuff its carcass, also for educational use.

"I want the case of Orm Sin to be an example for people in general who may wrongly believe that throwing coins into ponds where there are live animals brings good fortune. It only hurts the animals," vet Nantarika said.

Monday's story

Orm Sin is seen after an operation on March 6. The turtle now is in serious condition. (Photos by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

Coin-swallowing turtle 'very serious', in ICU

Online reporters

Orm Sin (Piggy Bank in English), the turtle who achieved media fame after swallowing 915 coins and required an emergency life-saving operation, is in a "very serious" condition and needs more surgery, a veterinarian said on Sunday.

"Let's pray," Nantarika Chansue, a veterinary scientist, wrote on her Facebook page.

Orm Sin had appeared likely for a quick recovery after veterinarians and surgeons took the coins weighing five kilogrammes from her stomach on March 6. On Saturday, vets detected that the 25-year-old female turtle looked depressed and had a stomach ache due to complications from the surgery.

The coins removed from the turtle's stomach.

"Yesterday we did an emergency operation on Bank (Orm Sin) due to the complications," said the scientist at Chulalongkorn University's veterinary science faculty, who is a leading team member helping the animal.

Om Sin is staying at the faculty while recovering. When well, it will be sent back to the Royal Thai Navy's Sea Turtle Conservation Centre in Sattahip district of Chon Buri for full rehabilitation.

Its present condition was described by Ms Nantarika as "very serious". The turtle is still in ICU with no visitors allowed.

The update on Orm Sin was shared by the many people who follow Ms Nantarika's social media account with support pouring in for her team and the turtle.

Orm Sin swallowed the coins thrown into a pond by tourists when it was still at Koh Loy in Sri Racha district in Chon Buri.

The Sri Racha municipality sent the turtle to the conservation centre last month when it closed a bridge from the mainland to Koh Loy for maintenance.

It was sent to the university last month, but it could barely swim, and a CT scan showed the coins inside its body.

Learn from listening

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absorb : to take in a liquid, gas or other substance from the surface or space around - ซึมซับ ดูดกลืน

affectionately : in a way that shows feelings of liking or love - อย่างรักใคร่ 

allow : to let somebody/something do something; to let something happen or be done - อนุญาต, ยอมรับ

appear : to seem - ดูเหมือนจะ, ดูเหมือนว่า

aquatic : growing or living in or near water - เกี่ยวกับน้ำ

barely : in a way that is just possible but only with difficulty - เกือบไม่ได้

briefing : a meeting in which people receive information or instruction - การสรุปแบบสั้นๆ

carcass : the body of a dead animal - ซาก

coin (noun): a flat round piece of metal used as money in a country - เหรียญ

complications : things, e.g., other illnesses, which make an illness worse - โรคแทรกซ้อน

condition : the physical state of a person or animal, especially how healthy they are - อาการ, สุขภาพ

consciousness : awareness - ความมีสติ, ความตระหนักรู้

conservation (noun): the protection of plants and animals, natural areas, and interesting and important structures and buildings, especially from the damaging effects of human activity - การอนุรักษ์ธรรมชาติ, การป้องกันความสูญเสีย, การสงวนไว้

CT scan : a special x-ray test that produces detailed images of the body - เอ็กซเรย์ด้วยระบบคอมพิวเตอร์

depressed : very sad and often without hope - เศร้าซึม

detected : noticed, discovered or found out - จับได้ พบได้

deteriorated : became worse - ทรุดโทรม, เสื่อมโทรม, เลวลง, ชำรุด

due to : because of - เนื่องจาก

emergency : an unexpected situation involving danger in which immediate action is necessary - เหตุฉุกเฉิน

essential : necessary - ที่จำเป็น

faculty : a group of departments in a college or university which specialise in a particular subject or group of subjects - คณะ

female : of the sex that can lay eggs or give birth to babies, being a woman or a girl - เพศหญิง, ผู้หญิง, ตัวเมีย

fluid : a liquid; a substance that can flow - ของเหลว, ของไหล

fortune : luck - โชค

ICU (noun): the department of a hospital for people who are so ill or badly injured that they need to have special medical care and be watched very closely - ห้องดูแลผู้ป่วยหนักในโรงพยาบาล

immunity : protected from a disease naturally by the body - ภูมิคุ้มกันโรค, ภูมิต้านทานโรค

in vain : without success - ไม่สำเร็จ

intestine : the long tube in your body that processes food and carries waste out of your body - ลำไส้

lapse into (verb): to gradually get into a worse state or condition - ค่อยๆเข้าสู่(สภาวะอย่างหนึ่ง)ทีละน้อย

likely : probable or expected - น่าจะเป็นไปได้

mainland : a large mass of land that forms the main part of a country but does not include any islands belonging to the country - แผ่นดินใหญ่

maintenance : work that is done to keep something such as a building, machine, or piece of equipment repaired and in good condition - การซ่อมบำรุง

media : radio, television, newspaper, the Internet, considered as a group - สื่อ

monitoring : regularly checking something - การจับตาดู, การตรวจตรา, การเฝ้าระมัดระวัง

municipality : a town, city or district with its own local government - เทศบาล

muscle (noun): a piece of body tissue that you contract and relax in order to move a particular part of the body; the tissue that forms the muscles of the body - กล้ามเนื้อ

nickel (noun): a chemical element. Nickel is a hard silver-white metal used in making some types of steel and other alloys. - นิกเกิล

nickname : an informal name for someone or something, especially a name which you are called by your friends or family, usually based on your proper name or your character - ชื่อเล่น

operation : the process of cutting open a part of a person's body in order to remove or repair a damaged part - การผ่าตัด

pond : a small area of still water, especially one that is artificial - บ่อน้ำ, สระน้ำ

post-mortem : a medical examination of the body of a dead person in order to find out how they died - การชันสูตร

pour in : to flow in or enter in large amounts - ไหลเข้า

pray : to speak to God or a saint, for example to give thanks or ask for help - ภาวนา, สวดมนต์

present (adjective): this time, happening now, happening currently - ปัจจุบันนี้

preserve : to keep something as it is, especially in order to prevent it from being damaged or destroyed - ทำให้คงอยู่, สงวน

rearrange : to put people or things in a different order or in different positions - จัดเตรียมใหม่

recover : to became aware again after having been unconscious - ฟื้น

recover (verb): to become normal and healthy again - ฟื้นฟูสภาพ, ฟื้นฟูร่างกาย

recovery (noun): the process of becoming normal and healthy again - การฟื้นตัว, การฟื้นฟู

rehabilitation : the process of returning someone or something to a good or healthy condition, state or way of living - การทำให้กลับสู่สภาพเดิม, การทำให้กลับมาดีเหมือนเดิม

release (verb): to let something move freely; to allow a substance to flow out from somewhere - ปล่อย

research : a careful study of a subject, especially in order to discover new facts or information about it - การวิจัย

stomach ache (noun): pain in or near your stomach - ปวดท้อง

stuff : to fill a container or space with something, especially something soft - ยัดไส้

surgeon : a doctor who is trained to perform surgery (= medical operations that involve cutting open a person's body) - ศัลยแพทย์

surgery : medical treatment in which a doctor cuts open someone’s body - การผ่าตัด

swallow : to make food or drink go from your mouth down through your throat and into your stomach - กลืน

tangled : twisted together in an untidy way - ซึ่งพันกันยุ่ง

toxins : poisonous substances, especially ones which are produced by bacteria and which cause disease - พิษ

update : the most recent information or news about something - ข้อมูลใหม่ๆ

urgent : of something you need to deal with immediately - เร่งด่วน

veterinarian : a person with a medical degree trained to take care of the health of animals - สัตวแพทย์

veterinary : relating to the care of animals that are ill or injured - เกี่ยวกับสัตวแพทยศาสตร์


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