Veterinarians removed 70 coins from the stomach of an alligator at the Nebraska Zoo

A zoo in Nebraska removed 70 coins from the stomach of an alligator / Photo OMAHA'S HENRY DOORLY ZOO AND AQUARIUM

An alligator at a US zoo had to undergo surgery after vets discovered 70 coins in the animal's stomach. The coins were found in a rare, 36-year-old leucistic alligator, which has translucent white skin and blue eyes. Vets identified "metallic objects in Thibodeau's stomach."

The Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska, said visitors threw coins into the enclosure, which the animal ate. The alligator has now recovered and returned to its habitat, reports BBC.

The zoo has urged visitors not to throw "coins into the zoo waters" after a significant amount of coins was pulled from an animal's stomach.

All 10 alligators, including Thibodeau, participated in a routine examination. When zoo workers discovered the coins, they acted quickly and performed an operation Thursday, removing the coins from Thibodeau "before they cause any problems."

"With the help of his training, Thibodeau was anesthetized and intubated to allow us to safely manage him during the procedure. A plastic tube was placed to protect his mouth and safely pass the tools used to access the coins, such as the camera that helped guide us in finding these items," said veterinarian Christina Plog, who led the the procedure.

The zoo said in a statement that an X-ray confirmed the objects were successfully removed, adding that "Thibodeau has recovered well from the procedure." Taylor Yaw, the zoo's director of animal health, said the procedure was not "out of the ordinary."

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