LEMON BAY, FL (WWSB) - A manatee paralyzed by red tide that was rescued from Lemon Bay by deputies with the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office has died at SeaWorld.
On Wednesday, deputies found the manatee stuck on a sandbar in Lemon Bay. The deputy contacted Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and a marine biologist determined the manatee was paralyzed due to the red tide after the deputy described its symptoms.
The manatee was still alive and able to breath so the deputy took steps to make sure it was able to keep breathing. FWC arrived and helped transport the manatee to SeaWorld in Orlando to treated and monitored.
The plan was to eventually release the manatee back into the Gulf of Mexico after it had recuperated, but officials at SeaWorld say it was very sick and died.
According to FWC, last year 67 manatees died or were suspected of being killed by red tide. So far this year, 80 have died or are suspected of being killed by red tide.
The manatee that deputies helped was found just a day after a boater captured video in Lemon Bay of around 4-6 manatees trying to help their manatee friend who had died, pushing its body across the channel.
Tyler DeGraff told ABC7 there were thousands of dead fish and the potent smell of death in the air.
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