SARASOTA- Experts at mote marine lab are calling Sarasota County ‘Ground Zero’, confirming 9 bottle–nose dolphin deaths within 2 days.
Red tide is moving north, and so are dolphin mortalities.
In Sarasota County, it began in Casperson Beach, two more were found dead Wednesday night and Thursday morning off Siesta Key Beach.
Gretchen Lovewell with Mote’s stranding’s investigations program said all but one of the dolphins were from the Suncoast.
“On a scale of 1 to 10, we’re definitely at a 10. I’ve been here for 9 years, I’ve been doing this for 19. So this is one of the most intense events that I’ve worked in. We’re seeing stomach full of partially digested, fairly fresh fish and not much else and nothing else, which is one of our first indications that this is likely due to the red tide,” Lovewell said.
Experts say if you see a manatee, turtle, or dolphin, in distress, contact your local police’s marine unit.