PANAMA CITY BEACH — It’s time for Julia, a 165-pound loggerhead sea turtle, to leave the Gulf World Marine Institute and return to the Gulf.
Julia was brought to Gulf World members after she was found bobbing in the surf in Franklin County. The vets determined that a case of pneumonia had wreaked havoc on her buoyancy control.
A stay at the institute and a round of antibiotics later, Julia is back to diving normally and successfully foraging, according to marine park staff. Her radiographs no longer show clinical signs on pneumonia, so she has been cleared to be released this Wednesday to the Gulf of Mexico at 11:45 a.m. EST at St. George Island State Park. The public is invited to the event.
In other turtle news, the first turtle nest of the year for Panama City Beach hatched on August 7, according to PCB Turtle Watch. Out of 89 eggs, volunteers believe 80 made it to the water. The nest was the third laid this year, but the two earlier ones failed due to high tides in Tropical Storm Cindy.