Autopsy: Twisted intestine, metal toxins killed Orm Sin

Autopsy: Twisted intestine, metal toxins killed Orm Sin

Veterinary surgeons recovered 915 coins from the stomach of Orm Sin and fought for two more weeks to save the life of the 25-year-old turtle before it finally succumbed on March 21. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

An autopsy on Orm Sin the coin-swallowing sea turtle has concluded that circulatory problems resulting from a twisted intestine, along with heavy-metal toxicity, were the cause of death.

Orm Sin made headlines worldwide last month after surgeons removed 915 coins from its stomach, but the 25-year-old female sea turtle lived for just two weeks after the operation.

The autopsy, performed by a veterinary pathology team at Chulalongkorn University and a team from the Aquatic Animal Research Centre, showed that both the external and internal surgical wounds had healed well following the operation on March 6. 

However, the distal intestine was congested and expanded in parts due to self-entanglement. As well, the turtle’s lungs were only partially functional, probably due to chronic inhalation of water because the body was so heavy that the turtle was too weak to fully come up to breathe,veterinarian Nantarika Chansue wrote on her Facebook page.

The team submitted liver, kidney and muscle tissue for heavy-metal analysis. All other tissues were sent for further histopathological examination. The body will be preserved by the department of veterinary anatomy for public display later.

The sea turtle, affectionately nicknamed Orm Sin (Piggy Bank), died on March 21 after lapsing into a coma following a second operation to repair its tangled insides.

On March 6, the veterinary team at Chulalongkorn University removed 915 coins weighing a total of five kilogrammes from the stomach of the suffering turtle, which had swallowed coins thrown into its pond by people seeking good fortune.

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