Odd News

Zoo removes $7 in coins from alligator's stomach

By Ben Hooper   |   Feb. 19, 2024 at 1:58 PM

Feb. 19 (UPI) -- A Nebraska zoo said its 36-year-old white alligator underwent surgery to remove $7 worth of loose change from his stomach.

The Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha said on social media that the leucistic American alligator, named Thibodaux, underwent blood collection and radiographs as part of routine care, and veterinarians spotted objects in his stomach that turned out to be coins.

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"With the help of his training, Thibodaux was anesthetized and intubated to allow us to safely manage him during the procedure," Christina Ploog, an associate veterinarian at the zoo, said in the social media post.

"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," she said.

The veterinarians ended up removing 70 coins -- about $7 worth -- from Thibodaux's stomach.

A follow-up X-ray confirmed the alligator's stomach was now free of coins.

"Guests should not throw coins into any bodies of water at the zoo," the post said. "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."