Gulf World Marine Park Accomodates Animals During Cold Temperatures

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PANAMA CITY BEACH- Gulf World Marine Park closed its doors to the public Wednesday to give extra attention to the animals in their care.

"We thought today it would be warming back up and instead it was colder today than it was yesterday," said Ron Hardy, Gulf World co-owner.

Owner of Gulf World, Ron Hardy says they are prepared for days like these.

A heater was placed in the tropical exhibit to help flamingos and birds stay warm.

The shark channel was also heated to keep turtles and other fish comfortable.

"We pump water from the Gulf of Mexico every day and that waters 55 degrees, we bring it in and store it in reservoirs and heat it up to about 75 degrees to 80 degrees. And then when we need it we put it into the exhibits."

Even water at the dolphin’s exhibit was controlled.

"It’s 55 degrees in the gulf so I think the dolphins are glad they are at gulf world today," said Hardy.

Turtles need temperatures of about 70 degrees.

But lately, Hardy says the cold front is creating dangerous situations, like the cold a few weeks ago that affected turtles in port St. Joe.

"There’s a good chance we are going to get a few cold-stunned turtles. And our job is to get them here quickly. Get them warmed up and try to get them back at the Gulf of Mexico," said Hardy.