Manatee treated at ZooTampa after eating toxic algae released back into the wild

Deputies in Lee County, Florida, recently helped return a 1,100-pound manatee back to the wild video from the sheriff’s office shows.

The manatee, who was given the nickname Darling, was found trapped in mangroves back in February after it had eaten red tide algae and suffered health issues as a result, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office said. 

Red tide is the nickname given to a naturally occurring algae that sometimes blooms into large patches. It releases a toxin that’s harmful to marine life and can cause respiratory issues in people.

READ: Warning signs posted after low levels of red tide detected along Sarasota beaches

The manatee was treated at ZooTampa.

Credit: Lee County Sheriff's Office

In the video, deputies can be seen helping Florida Fish and Wildlife officers, biologists, and volunteers carrying the manatee to the water.

READ: Manatee deaths prompts 'unusual mortality event' investigations

The team patted it on the back and cheered as the manatee swam away. 


Download our free news app

Sign up for our daily newsletter