Sea tur­tle flaps flip­pers in first re­hab swim

Austin American-Statesman - - MORE OF TODAY’S TOP NEWS -

Bank the green BANGKOK — sea tur­tle flapped her flip­pers with vigor in her first swim after a life-sav­ing op­er­a­tion to re­move a heavy mass of swal­lowed coins from her stom­ach.

Vet­eri­nar­i­ans in Bangkok put the tur­tle in wa­ter Fri­day for the first time since her surgery four days ago to see how well she could move. The tur­tle was gen­tly low­ered into a large plas­tic tank and very quickly be­gan swim­ming as best as she could in the re­stricted space.

“It’s fan­tas­tic! She is re­spond­ing very well,” said Dr. Nan­tarika Chan­sue, who led the team from Chu­la­longkorn Univer­sity’s Ve­teri­nary Fac­ulty. “Now she is very happy and looks like nor­mal tur­tle.”

The 25-year-old tur­tle was res­cued from a pool in the sea­side town of Sri Racha by the Thai navy. The cause of her ill health was re­vealed by 3-D scans that showed she had been eat­ing the coins thrown into her pool by passers-by who be­lieved do­ing so would bring them luck or longevity.

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