Species: Green Sea Turtle
Rescued: January 2018
Circumstances: second largest cold stunning event in Gulf World history
In January of 2018, Gulf World Marine Institute was host to the second largest sea turtle cold stunning event ever in its history. When water temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, sea turtle body temperatures drop as well, and their bodies begin to freeze. Over 1,200 sea turtles were affected in this event, mostly in St. Joseph Bay. After being brought to GWMI, most of the sea turtles were warmed up and quickly released. Unfortunately, Dome suffered from additional illnesses. Named Dome because of his unusual shape, the turtle’s rear end is always floating, and his/her health exam showed infection in the bloodwork. After a short time, pieces of his carapace (shell) also began to fall off in sections, leaving the bone exposed.
During his long stay, Dome’s bone has slowly been healing. Still having some buoyancy control challenges, he is also monitored closely for any concerning behavior. Despite his challenges, Dome has a spunky personality, a variable but decent appetite, and is a favorite among GWMI volunteers. He is currently receiving calcium daily with his diet, in order to stimulate the bone re-growth of his shell.