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Turtle living in wishing pond gets surgery after years of eating of coins left by tourists

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The Thai sea turtle that spent years eating coins off the bottom of a wishing pond has undergone a successful surgery.

The 25-year-old, nicknamed Omsin (Thai for “piggy bank”), was found with an engorged stomach full of heavy coins, and she made headlines as a warning to people casting coins into ponds for good luck.

The coins, found in her stomach and intestines, were pressing on her other organs, and preventing her from diving, breathing or eating properly.

Vets operated on Omsin on Monday, removing removed some 915 coins weighing nearly 5 kg, according to Nantarika Chansue, an associate professor at Chulalongkorn University who has been spearheading the turtle’s recovery. Read more…

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South Korea's biggest dog meat market stays open, despite promises to shut it

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Amid reports celebrating the closure of South Korea’s biggest dog meat market, it appears the Moran market will stay open after all, an animal rights group says.

The country has started to shutter its dog meat markets in response to international criticism, ahead of it playing host to the 2018 Winter Olympics.

But Moran in Seongnam, which sells the meat from over 80,000 dogs per year for human consumption, is due to stay open, says the Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth (CARE). 

It’s merely the display and slaughtering of live dogs that would stop — dog meat sales will continue at Moran, CARE said in a statement on Wednesday. Read more…

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Young snake catcher dies while attempting to kiss a cobra

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It’s a tale of tragic ironies. 

A 21-year-old snake catcher in India died after attempting to kiss a cobra. He was admitted to a civic hospital with a venomous snakebite on his chest and succumbed to it three days later, the Times of India reported

Somnath Mhatre (Smith Mhatre on Facebook) had reportedly rescued the snake from under a car in Navi Mumbai, about 16 miles outside Mumbai. And he tried to pull off a stunt but it backfired. 

Mhatre’s Facebook profile is filled with photos of him pulling off many such stunts with snakes.  Read more…

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Taiwan bans putting stray animals to death

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Taiwan has now banned euthanising stray animals in shelters, despite fears that the move will lead to overcrowding and more abandoning their pets.

The law came into effect on Saturday, two years after it was first passed by parliament.

The issue of putting down strays was plunged into the spotlight last year, after a shelter vet committed suicide after becoming overwhelmed by the number of animals she had to put down.

Chien Chih-cheng ended her life by ingesting animal euthanasia drugs. She said in a TV interview prior to her death that she had put down over 700 dogs over the course of two years. Read more…

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'Even stray dogs have a right to live': India's Supreme Court rules

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India’s apex court has weighed in resoundingly on a petitioner who wanted all stray dogs killed. It has observed that “nobody can destroy stray dogs in entirety. They also have a right to live,” the Press Trust of India reported

However, a methodical culling is possible, it has said.

The apex court has been hearing a series of petitions filed by NGOs and civic bodies across the country on stray dogs that have become a menace, especially in the southern Indian state of Kerala.

The bench informed that a panel headed by a former Kerala High Court judge had received around 400 matters related to dog bites and it was working on it. Some deaths have also been reported.  Read more…

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