VENICE, Fla. (WFLA) – As red tide continues to impact beaches along Florida’s gulf coast, authorities have been rescuing animals that have been caught up in the harmful algal blooms.
Over the past weekend, Marine Units with the Venice Police Department Marine Unit, Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, the Florida Fish Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office all assisted in the successful rescue of a juvenile manatee in distress.
According to VPD, the 700 pound manatee was in distress due to red tide. Marine Officers and biologists had to get in the water and help hold the young manatee’s head above water so it could breathe until additional personnel arrived.
Police said a hammock stretcher had to be used in order to get the manatee into a truck. During the rescue mission, residents near by even gave officials access to their property to help save the aquatic mammal.
Following the successful rescue, the manatee was taken to SeaWorld Orlando for rehabilitation.
“If you see any sea life that appears to be in distress, please call your local marine authorities,” VPD wrote on Facebook.