Adoption – Arrow

Date: May 4, 2023
Location: Russell-Fields City Pier (Pier Park Pier), Panama City Beach
Circumstances: accidental hooking
On May 4, Gulf World Marine Institute was told of a loggerhead sea turtle with fishing gear. The Russell-Fields City Pier staff found the fisherman with the turtle, and the Panama City Beach Lifeguards helped to transfer the turtle to the rehabilitation facility. Upon arrival, it became clear that this sea turtle has been in rehab before, with a few different clues. A GWMI volunteer that maintains a photo-ID catalog using pictures taken from the piers was able to match the images to ones taken of “Arrow”, who has been seen multiple years. Additionally, there were healed scars where previously-applied metal tags had been torn out. Finally, a scan with the PIT reader (internal tag) confirmed the ID. “Arrow” had found his/her way back into GWMI’s care once again!
Since Arrow’s first visit with GWMI in 2019, the sea turtle has been seen at the pier many times. Upon rescue, it was found that Arrow had at least 13 hook or hook fragments in or on the body. Many were able to be removed from the flippers and mouth with little stress. There are still internal hooks within the intestines, and these are more difficult to treat. The first step is to feed Arrow cotton balls stuffed into a squid. The cotton balls will hopefully latch onto the hooks, and force them out of the intestines without causing damage. Arrow has an appetite, and so that is a good start!
Thank you to the Russell-Fields City Pier staff and the Panama City Beach Lifeguards for their cooperation in rescuing and transporting Arrow.

Adoption – New England Cold-Stunned

Patients: 3 to choose from (right now, we will be adding more as we can!)
Date: December 2022
Location: Cape Cod Bay, Massachusetts
Circumstances: cold-stunned
Gulf World Marine Institute (GWMI) recently received 30 cold-stunned Kemp’s ridley sea turtles from the New England Aquarium. These lucky sea turtles were flown by a private plane; the pilots in this partnership actually donate their time and fuel to help!
As reptiles, sea turtles’ body temperatures closely match the temperature of their environment. Sea turtles can become cold-stunned (or shocked) when the temperatures  drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Because they receive so many turtles during the winter months, the New England Aquarium usually reaches out for aid. GWMI is happy to help! By taking some of the sea turtles, more room is available for new cold stuns as they arrive. GWMI will continue to treat these animals until they are ready for release.
Thank you to Turtles Fly Too for coordinating the flight and to the pilots for generously donating their time and airplane for this mission. We would also like to thank Massachusetts Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, NOAA Fisheries, New England Aquarium, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and all volunteers for working together to make this possible.
*There are currently 3 patients to choose from on the drop down menu! Check them all out!