500 red tide suspected animal sickness cases in SWFL

Reporter: Gina Tomlinson
Published: Updated:
Photo by WINK News.

Hundreds of animals on the shores of Southwest Florida are paying the price for red tide. A pelican is one of the latest victims of the water quality crisis. Animal hospitals continue to treat wildlife impacted by the blooms.

The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) on Sanibel Island said it is treating animals sick from the blooms, a total that’s up to 500 red tide suspected cases in 2018

Shore birds like the pelican are in emergency care at Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s Von Arx Wildlife Hospital in Collier County.

Veterinarians there said more than 20 birds have been brought in suffering from red tide effects in the past week.

Beachgoers find it devastating.

“There have literally been a few incidents where some of the terns have been seen falling as they fly, and hitting the beach,” Tim Thompson said. “When I went to pick up a sandwich tern, he actually died in my hands, and that’s a terrible feeling.”

Experts told WINK News the patchy red tide we’re seeing is about average for this time of year.

But, wildlife rescue workers said the number of animals impacted is far from normal.

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