US Zoo Extracts 70 Coins From Alligator, Urges Visitors To Avoid Tossing Money in Water

After a successful removal of all the coins, a follow-up X-ray confirmed the procedure's success.

US Zoo Extracts 70 Coins From Alligator, Urges Visitors To Avoid Tossing Money in Water

Thibodaux has recuperated smoothly and is now back in his habitat.

A critical incident occurred concerning a cherished inhabitant of the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. Thibodaux, a 36-year-old alligator, underwent an urgent medical procedure late last week to extract an unexpected assortment from its stomach-a total of 70 coins. Zoo officials discovered the metallic haul during a routine examination. Thankfully, all the coins were successfully removed, sparing Thibodaux from potential harm. Veterinarian Dr Christina Ploog believes the coins were likely tossed into the alligator's habitat by visitors, a dangerous and unwelcome practice.

"With the help of his training, Thibodaux was anesthetized and intubated to allow us to safely manage him during the procedure," said Christina Ploog, DVM, an associate veterinarian at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, who led the procedure.

"A plastic pipe was placed to protect his mouth and safely pass the tools used to access the coins, such as a camera that helped us guide the retrieval of these objects."

All of the coins were successfully removed, which was confirmed with a follow-up X-ray image. Thibodaux recovered well from the procedure and is back in his habitat.

"Though a procedure like the one done on Thibodaux is not always common, it's a great example of what our animal care and animal health teams do every day across our campus to provide excellent care to our animals," said Taylor Yaw Zoo veterinarian and director of animal health.

The Zoo urged its visitors that "guests should not throw coins into any bodies of water at the Zoo. Any loose change can instead be turned in for a souvenir coin in one of the several machines around the Zoo or in our coin wishing well located in the atrium of the Desert Dome."

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