Wildlife like turtles get sick from red tide
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
SANIBEL ISLAND, Fla. - Red tide has made several sea turtles and shorebirds sick. CROW, the Clinic for Rehabilitation of Wildlife, in Sanibel is now caring for several turtles.
Aundria West, a veterinarian intern at CROW, is caring for one of the latest victims of red tide, a green sea turtle that has lost its zest for life.
"This one is definitely depressed. Normally, they would be looking around and usually flapping around this table trying to get off of it," said West.
The turtle was rescued from Sanibel Island and the clinic thinks it got sick once it ate the fish poisoned by the red tide.
"It really stresses the liver because the liver is the organ that's really trying to process all the toxins out."
West pumps the turtle with fluids.
"You can see I already stuck her with the needle and she hasn't reacted very much," said West.
This isn't the only guy sick from the algae bloom. The clinic is caring for several other turtles including an endangered sea turtle known as the Kemp's Ridley.
Red tide was first reported in Southwest Florida back in October. While Collier County is mostly clear, red tide is still around in Lee County in concentrations ranging from "not present" to "medium."
While it's unclear when these sea turtles will make a comeback, a 200 pound loggerhead at CROW is proof with some TLC, reptiles can recover.
The 50-year-old turtle is missing its back flipper.
"We think maybe from a possible shark attack."
The turtle washed ashore during Issac and was found floating. Since it was rescued in August, the turtle has made a remarkable recovery and for some like the loggerhead getting into the hands of CROW means a second chance at life.
Crow might send the loggerhead to Mote Marine in Sarasota since they have larger tanks and it would stay there for about 6 months before being released.