Call Immediately for Help

Save the Manatee Club

Manatees continue to suffer from the catastrophic effects of red tide in southwest Florida and also on the east coast in Brevard County where a large number of manatees have died, possibly from a different toxin.

Patrick M. Rose, Save the Manatee Club
Published: Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 11:20 AM.

Manatees continue to suffer from the catastrophic effects of red tide in southwest Florida and also on the east coast in Brevard County where a large number of manatees have died, possibly from a different toxin.

Red tide acts as a neurotoxin in manatees, giving them seizures that can result in drowning without human intervention.  Manatees may exhibit muscle twitches, lack of coordination, labored breathing, and an inability to maintain body orientation.  If rescued in time, most manatees can recover, so report a sick manatee immediately to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Hotline at 1-888-404-3922, #FWC or *FWC on your cellular phone, or use VHF Channel 16 on your marine radio.

“It’s crucial that manatees exposed to red tide are moved out of the affected area by trained biologists and stabilized at a critical care facility, where prognosis is very good,” says Dr. Katie Tripp, Director of Science and Conservation for Save the Manatee Club.  “Extraordinary efforts from individuals calling for help have already saved manatee lives.”  In one particular instance a manatee that was reported as dead turned out to be barely alive, and through the valiant efforts of a dedicated rescue volunteer the manatee is now fully recovered.

Callers who report a sighting should be prepared to answer the following questions:

-         What is the exact location of the animal?

-         Is the manatee alive or dead?  Look closely as the manatee may appear dead but still be alive!

-         How long have you been observing the manatee?



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