Weather Alert


A Heat Advisory has been issued for the area for Friday and Saturday.  Heat indices will be between 105 and 110 during the afternoon hours.



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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

The Gulfarium prepares for the cold weather

"When temperatures drop to an extreme cold, it's important to take care of animals. You might think about laying a blanket down for your cat or dog. But preparations here at the Gulfararium on Okaloosa Island are just a little bit different."

The Gulfarium is home to several animals that don't do well in freezing temperatures, like tortoises, alligators, sharks...and penguins.

Yes, penguins.

Patrick Berry "The penguins that we have here are African penguins, and they are subtropical penguins. They are used to warm weather."

When cold threatens, the penguins are moved into a sheltered habitat. The same is true for the Asian Otters, and caymans, which are like small alligators. Special enclosed habitats were made to give them a place to stay out of the cold. The aquatic habitats of the sharks, seals, and bottlenose dolphins are heated.

Patrick Berry "We do have it down to a science, and we're prepared for it, and we can roll right into our plan, our cold weather plan."

Other animals, like the cold-blooded African Spurred Tortoise, need special attention. Gulfarium staff have built them a shelter with heat lamps to keep them warm. Patrick Berry, the general manager, says being educated about the needs of every animals makes it easier to care for them.

"We will take that information, and keep that in mind as we develop their habitat, and then when the weather comes we'll know what the tolerance levels are temperature wise."

Rob Brown "Now Gulfarium staff will stay on hand throughout the night to make sure the animals are well looked after. On Okaloosa Island, Rob Brown, Channel Three News."