Turtles could provide a source of funding for National Parks according to a government spokesman. “The turtle is known as an Omsin (piggy bank) and people love to throw money at it”, he continued. “Everybody likes them and they are an indigenous species. Currently anybody visiting a historical park is required to give huge amounts of money to a Unesco.”
“The Unesco is a greedy, ugly creature that was introduced into Thailand by Europeans in the 20th century. The money thrown at the Unesco is never recovered, it all goes to Paris where it is spent on gourmet dinners (of sharks fin and turtle soup) and used to buy apartments in Manhattan” the spokesman told Private Tye.
“If we replace the Unescos with Omsins everybody will be happy and we can use the coins to maintain our historical parks. If we leave things as they are, our historical parks will end up like Palmyra” he concluded.
The story from Reuters (6 March):
Thai veterinarians on Monday removed 915 coins from a 25-year-old sea turtle which had been swallowing items thrown into her pool for good luck, eventually limiting her ability to swim.
The coins and other objects removed from the turtle named Omsin - piggy bank in Thai - weighed 5 kg (11 lb). The turtle itself weighed 59 kg (130 lb).
The green sea turtle, living at a conservation center in Sriracha, Chonburi, east of the Thai capital of Bangkok, had been finding it hard to swim normally because of the weight.
The vets said they believed the seven-hour-long operation was the world's first such surgery.
"We think it will take about a month to ensure she will fully recover," said Nantarika Chansue, of Chulalongkorn University's veterinary science faculty, adding that the turtle would need six more months of physical therapy.
There was no immediate estimate of the value of the coins, some of them foreign and many corroded.