Manatee deaths increase; several found in Lee & Charlotte counties

Reporter: Morgan Rynor
Published: Updated:
Dead manatee is removed from the water at the Cape Coral Yacht Club. Credit: WINK News

Three manatees washed ashore Tuesday throughout parts of Southwest Florida.

“So they get it from breathing it, they get it from eating it, and swimming in it, and they’re not an animal that can move quickly away from it,” said Marilyn Levy Odea, of the Ostego Bay Foundation.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said this year there are higher than normal manatee deaths from red tide.

A dead manatee floating in the water Tuesday afternoon, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

FWC towed the female animal to the Cape Coral yacht club to be removed by biologists whom will conduct a necropsy to determine the cause of death.

The FWC asks, if anyone finds a sick, injured or dead manatee call FWC at 1-888-404-3922 to report it.

WINK News reporter Morgan Rynor spoke with ecologists on the issue. Watch the full segment above.

Red tide reaches Lemon Bay

The widespread red tide is now reaching the shores of Lemon Bay where thousands of fish are washing ashore.

FWC pulled a dead manatee from a boat ramp at Indian Mound Park, and they say a second one was found just a mile away.

“I hate to say it but it’s like a natural disaster if you ask me,” said Englewood resident Jane Tellor.

Neighbors say the strong odor from the dead fish can be smelled from as far away as Venice and North Port.

FWC will take both of the dead manatees back to their labs to test and see if their deaths can be added to the long list of manatees that couldn’t survive the red tide.

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