Hospital treats manatees paralyzed in toxic red tide - New York News

Hospital treats manatees paralyzed in toxic red tide

Posted: Updated:
TAMPA (FOX 13) -

A powerful red tide bloom in southwest Florida is proving to be an epidemic for the state's manatee population. Just this year, 174 manatees have been killed from red tide-related illness.

"When the toxins build up on sea grasses, the manatees consume the sea grasses and consume the toxins as well," said Florida Fish & Wildlife Spokesperson Kevin Baxter.

A lucky few have been plucked from the poisonous environment, and they're finding help here in Tampa. A dozen have been rescued and taken straight to Lowry Park Zoo's Manatee Hospital.

"What we see with the animals is seizing. They'll have a lot of uncontrollable twitching," Lowry Park Zoo Animal Care Manager Virginia Edmonds said Tuesday.

The toxins cause manatees to become temporarily paralyzed.

"They'll not be able to lift their head up for a breath, which is obviously important to a mammal," Edmonds said.

Vets use pool toys to keep manatees' heads above water while they heal. It takes a team of about ten to give a manatee it's medications, but so far, they have a 100 percent success rate.

"We had one come in, and 15 minutes later it was swimming around in the pool," Edmonds smiled.

Right now, Lowry Park is packed with 14 manatees, 10 of them sick from red tide. They are all recovering well and one day will be released back into the wild. Experts say it's thanks to a resilience unique to the gentle giants.

"We wouldn't have nearly as many if it weren't for their incredible ability to heal and want to survive," Edmonds said.

Once the manatees at Lowry Park Zoo's Manatee Hospital are rehabilitated, they'll be transferred to a closed area near Crystal River. Once the red tide bloom in southwest Florida clears, the manatees will be released into the wild. They can't release them until the bloom clears because manatees are wired to naturally return to their home with they're displaced.

******

PREVIOUS COVERAGE:

Red tide taking record toll on manatees:
http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/story/21577901/2013/03/11/red-tide-taking-record-toll-on-manatees

 

 

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Marijuana's hazy contribution to highway deaths

    Marijuana's hazy contribution to highway deaths

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 5:54 AM EDT2014-09-02 09:54:40 GMT
    Public officials and safety advocates worry there will be more drivers high on pot and a big increase in traffic deaths as states liberalize marijuana laws. It's not clear, though, whether those concerns are merited. Researchers are divided on the question. Studies of marijuana's effects show the drug can slow decision-making, decrease peripheral vision and impede multitasking. 
    Public officials and safety advocates worry there will be more drivers high on pot and a big increase in traffic deaths as states liberalize marijuana laws. It's not clear, though, whether those concerns are merited. Researchers are divided on the question. Studies of marijuana's effects show the drug can slow decision-making, decrease peripheral vision and impede multitasking. 
  • Speed cameras in LI school zones

    Speed cameras in LI school zones

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 5:49 AM EDT2014-09-02 09:49:32 GMT
    Reminder for drivers that as children head back to school in Nassau County so too, will the speed cameras in school zones. Officials say speed cams will be fully operational at 25 locations this week. That will more than double eventually.
    Reminder for drivers that as children head back to school in Nassau County so too, will the speed cameras in school zones. Officials say speed cams will be fully operational at 25 locations this week. That will more than double eventually.
  • Hope's Land of Candy

    Hope's Land of Candy

    Monday, September 1 2014 8:13 PM EDT2014-09-02 00:13:34 GMT
    Step through the doors of Hope's Land of Candy in Island Park, Long Island and you''ll be taking a trip back in time. There's no WIFI but they do have a Victrola piano. And then there's the candy.. lots and lots of it.
    Step through the doors of Hope's Land of Candy in Island Park, Long Island and you''ll be taking a trip back in time. There's no WIFI but they do have a Victrola piano. And then there's the candy.. lots and lots of it.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices