More than 200 manatees killed in Florida by ‘red tide’ algae

“Wildlife officials in Florida are facing an especially stiff challenge this year in saving the state’s manatee population from a poisonous brand of algae that has spread around the coast.  CBS News reported on Friday that 207 manatees have died this year after being infected by toxins released by ‘red tide’ algae. The poisonous materials found in the algae attach themselves to the manatees’ food, and can paralyze manatees after digestion, causing them to drown. ‘When you do find them it’s almost too late,’ said Virginia Edmonds, director of a manatee critical care facility at Lowery Park Zoo in Tampa. ‘They’re out there struggling. They’re going to end up drowning.’”

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