CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. (WSVN) — Wildlife officials rescued a paralyzed manatee off the coast of Southwest Florida on Wednesday.
The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office said one of their marine deputies found the manatee unable to move on a sandbar and realized it was most likely paralyzed from red tide poisoning.
The deputy called Florida Fish and Wildlife to rescue the animal while he and a Good Samaritan kept its snout elevated with a life vest so it could breathe.
Rescuers pulled the manatee from the water and transported it to SeaWorld Orlando for treatment and monitoring. The sheriff’s office says it will be released back into the wild once it’s healthy.
According to FWC, Red Tide is a type of toxic algae that blooms off of Florida’s coast, and it produces toxins that affect the nervous systems of manatees and other animals, causing them to become paralyzed and drown.
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