Our Town: Wakulla County Marine Lab

Our Town Wakulla County
Posted at 8:14 PM, Dec 14, 2012

WAKULLA COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL)-- Panacea, Florida is not just a source for seafood, but also a place to be educated about the sea. Jack Rudloe has traveled all over the world, but to him there’s no place like Wakulla County. Rudloe said, “"I wake up here in the morning and I look at the salt marsh and I see a blue heron that goes off our dock and I see jelly fish out there. Wakulla means everything to me.” Rudloe is the founder of Gulf Specimen Marine Lab. He said that through their sea turtle program, which started in 1964, many endangered sea turtles like Allie have been rehabilitated.

Allie the sea turtle was rescued by a fisherman who saw her struggling for her life. Rudloe said, "He could've left her behind but I guess through our years of education with him and with his kids father that sort of thing, they knew to call us to assist and think that's a good positive situation.” Allie’s meals consist of blue crabs. As soon as Allie has been rehabilitated, she will be returned to the wild.

While sea turtles are a main part of the Marine Lab, they aren’t the only animals on display. The lab allows visitors to touch all sorts of sea creatures, even octopuses.

Jack Rudloe hopes when visitors leave his lab, they take with them a better appreciation for sea life.