Nebraska Zoo Removes 70 Coins From Alligator's Stomach Because Guests Treated Him Like a Wishing Well

Thibodaux, a 36-year-old alligator who resides at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha, Nebraska had to undergo emergency surgery late last week to remove dozens of coins from its stomach.

Zoo veterinarians removed a total of seventy coins from the poor alligator's stomach!

The zoo posted on Facebook that "As part of their routine care, our 10 American alligators participated in examinations to ensure they are healthy. These exams consist of blood collection and radiographs, which are all a result of decades of establishing trust with these animals through proactive training efforts that allow the animals to voluntarily participate in their own veterinary care.During these routine exams, our veterinarians identified some metal foreign objects in the stomach of an iconic resident of the Zoo: 36-year-old leucistic American alligator, Thibodaux."

Related: Incredibly Rare Alligator Was Just Born at Gatorland in Florida

The zoo goes on to say that the veterinary team anesthetized and intubated Thibodaux and a plastic pipe was used to protect his mouth and safely pass the tools used to access the coins.

Thankfully, all of the coins were successfully removed, which the zoo said was  confirmed with a follow-up X-ray image. Thibodaux has been reported to have recovered well from the procedure and is back in his habitat.

The Zoo also had to add "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."

I have no idea what type of dummies would thrown coins into any animal enclosure, much less 70 of them! You would think people would know better, but at least this beautiful creature is okay.

What Is a Leucistic Alligator?

Leucistic alligators have translucent white skin and deep blue eyes. They are very occasionally born in the wild, but rarely survive beyond infancy due to health problems.

Because leucistic alligators lack normal skin pigmentation and thus sunburn easily, they cannot be exposed to sunlight for long periods and are at higher risk of sun damage and skin cancer. Leucistic alligators are also rarely seen as adults because their skin means they are easily spotted by predators.

Last year an adorable Leucistic alligator was born at Gatorland, Florida she should be on display as soon as she grows bigger.

Looking for more PetHelpful updates? Follow us on YouTube for more entertaining videos. Or, share your own adorable pet by submitting a video, and sign up for our newsletter for the latest pet updates and tips.