FWC releases seven manatees in Cape Coral - WFLA News Channel 8

FWC releases seven manatees in Cape Coral

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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission and its partners released seven manatees in Cape Coral on Tuesday. The manatees were rescued during a recent red tide bloom in southwest Florida.

The FWC says they rescued 16 manatees suffering from the effects of red tide from late September 2012 to April.  The manatees were taken to the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa for treatment and 15 of the manatees survived according to the FWC.

The FWC says two of the manatees were released in June and there are more scheduled releases later this month.

Of the seven manatees released today, five of them were cared for at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo the entire time they were being rehabilitated. The other two manatees were moved to Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park where they were treated for critical care.

"We are very pleased that so many of the manatees we rescued from the effects of red tide have recovered to reach this point," said Andy Garrett, an FWC biologist and Florida's manatee rescue coordinator. "Our staff and partners worked very hard during the red tide to get to distressed manatees in time."

The FWC said 272 manatees died from effects red tide blooms in 2013. They say that's a single year record. Manatees are exposed to red tide toxins through their food, such as sea grass.

Citizens who see a distressed manatee are asked to call the FWC's Wildlife Alert Hotline at 1-888-404-FWCC (3922), dialing #FWC or *FWC on a cell phone, or texting Tip@MyFWC.com.

You can also support rescue efforts financially by purchasing a "Save the Manatees" license plate.

Follow us on twitter @wfla

 

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