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Safe Travels Pear, Grilled Cheese and Big Bertha!

Photo: Gulfarium C.A.R.E Center

Goodbyes may be bittersweet, but the goodbyes at the Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center are mainly just sweet. Why? Because it means they have successfully rehabbed one or more of their hard-shelled buddies!


Three of these sweet goodbyes will be taking place tomorrow at 9AM at Inlet Beach and you’re invited to join! Pear, Grilled Cheese and Big Bertha have all received clean bills of health and are ready to find their way back home and continue their journey in The Gulf of Mexico.

Get to know the turtles before you say farewell!


Pear is a sub-adult loggerhead sea turtle weighing in at 108lbs. Pear was accidentally hooked at the Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier on 6/23/2023. After a mild sedation, two fishing hooks were removed from Pear’s mouth and esophagus, now giving Pear clearance for release.

Grilled Cheese

Grilled Cheese is also a sub-adult loggerhead sea turtle, weighing only 65lbs. Grilled cheese was accidentally foul hooked at Okaloosa Island Fishing pier on 6/24/2023, with a sabiki and a J-hook in the right front flipper. Both hooks were easily removed and Grilled Cheese is ready to go home now.

Big Bertha

Big Bertha is an adult female loggerhead weighing in at a whopping 185lbs. She was accidentally hooked by a shark fisherman on 5/21/2023. Bertha had the large shark fishing hook in her esophagus as well as a small J-hook attached to a metal leader line. In addition, Bertha had entanglement wounds on both front flippers due to previous fishing line entanglement. Bertha’s hooks were removed non-surgically and she continued to receive antibiotics to treat her flipper wounds. After one month of rest and recovery Bertha is ready to get back to the Gulf.

Good luck to Pear, Grilled Cheese and Big Bertha! May your journey be filled with adventure, wonder and lots of yummy sea grass. Swim strong and stay safe out there!

Want to know more about the C.A.R.E Center and how you can help patients like these ones? Check out their website for more volunteer information and follow their Facebook page for more sea turtle release updates like this one.