Manatee found paralyzed from red tide

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The sparkling white sand of Florida's southwestern beaches aren't dotted with sunbathers this week.

A combination of red tide along Florida's coastline and blue-green algae in rivers and canals is killing a variety of animals in Florida waters this summer.

Officials say almost 400 sea turtles have died because of the toxic bloom.

Respiratory irritation and murky clumps of red drift algae have been reported from Collier to Sarasota counties on Florida's west coast, which is usually known for its stunning beaches.

It's also affecting businesses along the coast.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Red Tide along the west coast is the Karenia brevis, a strain of algae that is nearly exclusive to Florida waters.

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"FWC will deploy additional scientists to assist local efforts to save animals affected by the naturally occurring red tide".

The city is issuing a daily "fish kill clean-up" report because of the "unprecedented volume of dead sea life now washing up".

Social media has been inundated with images of dead animals that failed to escape the toxic bloom washing up on the Gulf of Mexico beaches across Florida. FWC arrived and is helping to transport the manatee to SeaWorld in Orlando, where it will be treated and monitored until it can be released back into the wild.

A wind shift is likely what caused the thousands of dead fish to wash ashore on normally pristine Sanibel Island this past weekend. Red tides, on the other hand, produce toxins that can harm or kill sea life.

Red tide is the name given to the blooms of a species of microorganisms that have a distinct red colour.

Florida Fish and Wildlife officials say controlling the red tide is complicated.

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