Pets & Animals

Gulf World Welcomes Rescued Rough-Toothed Dolphin

Stan, Gulf World's newest rough-toothed dolphin resident, is acclimating well to his new environment and companions. He's now living with five other rough-toothed dolphins, all rescues that were deemed non-releasable by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Stan, a 225 pound, 7 ft 1 in long rough-toothed dolphin, was originally rescued by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and transported to SeaWorld Orlando for rehabilitative care after he was found stranded this past June.

Pets Smile Bright at Kindness Pet Hospital

Kindness Pet Hospital on Scenic 30A treats pets like they would want their own pets to be treated. Leading the charge for this best standard of care is Dr. Mary Connor. Born and raised in New Orleans, Dr. Connor graduated from LSU’s school of Veterinary Medicine in 2007.  In July of 2014, Dr. Connor purchased Kindness Pet Hospital and has quickly become a valued and respected member of the SoWal community.


Another Big Year for South Walton Sea Turtles

This year’s sea turtle nesting season has come and gone with 84 total nests recorded in Walton County. With the help of 80 or so South Walton Turtle Watch (SWTW) volunteers, thousands of tiny hatchlings crawled out of their cozy dune nests and headed out to sea.

South Walton Sea turtles face long odds for survival. Females that survive will return about 25 years from now to lay their own eggs on the same stretch of beach where they hatched, as they have been doing for 65 million years.

Gulf World Marine Institute Awarded Grants for Sea Turtle Rehabilitation

Gulf World Marine Institute (GWMI) has been awarded two grants totaling $13,560 that will assist in the rehabilitation of stranded sea turtles. The Institute at Gulf World Marine Park serves as the premier facility in Northern Florida that provides short and long term rehabilitation to sea turtles as part of its collaboration with the National Marine Fisheries Service. 

South Walton Turtle Watch Volunteers Patrol the Beach

A giant red sun peeks over the oat-covered dunes, casting long shadows and illuminating a distinctive track in the sand, unbroken from dune toe to surf. The track was made in the midnight hour by a massive sea turtle on a mission.

Expectant mamas like her have been visiting SoWal beaches since prehistoric times, returning each year to the same spot where they hatched. Repeating the cycle by building a nest and burying dozens of eggs in the warm, incubating sands.

Stranded Bottlenose Dolphin under Rehabilitation at Gulf World Marine Institute

A juvenile female bottlenose dolphin was found stranded  on June 28 on the beach near Thomas Drive in Panama City Beach. The dolphin was rescued and taken to Gulf World Marine Institute (GWMI) for testing and treatment. 

The dolphin is still in critical condition and being treated by GWMI staff veterinarian Dr. Staggs at the Institute. It appears that the rough surf caused salt water and sand got to enter into the blowhole causing aspiration pneumonia. This was not the cause of her stranding but a complication from the beaching process. 

Rescued Loggerhead Sea Turtle Returns to the Gulf

The Gulf World Marine Institute stranding team recently released a fully rehabilitated loggerhead sea turtle into the Gulf of Mexico in Panama City Beach. The stranded sea turtle was rescued in March of this year and was found to be emaciated and lethargic. After a few months of rehabilitation at Gulf World Marine Institute the sea turtle was medically cleared and then released back into the Gulf on June 24, 2015, along with a few human friends standing by for support.


Have an Excellent Day at Gulf World Marine Park

Feeding and petting a fever of stingrays, swimming with dolphins and getting smooched by a sea lion is all in a day’s work at Gulf World Marine Park. Panama City Beach’s longstanding educational facility pulls double duty as the Area Coordinator for the Southeast Marine Mammal Stranding Network. And when Gulf World’s team of experts isn’t out rescuing dolphins and sea turtles, they’re educating kids and kids-at-heart about the fascinating animals with which we share our planet.


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