Saving ocean animals from the Red Tide

Digital Originals

The harmful algae bloom known as red tide has once again invaded the shores of the U.S. state of Florida.

It’s a naturally occurring annual phenomenon along the Gulf of Mexico that kills marine life and can make surrounding air difficult to breathe.

Researchers in Florida have been busy looking for solutions to defend the ecosystem from this threat, especially against sea turtles.

And they’ve found a promising treatment using the same approach that works on humans who’ve overdosed on cocaine.

It’s called ‘intravenous lipid emulsion’ – or ILE.

In the treatment, special fats are injected into the bloodstream to flush out toxins.

The Loggerhead Marinelife Center is collaborating with the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife to test the therapy on birds in addition to turtles.

The treatment’s success builds hope that even more species can be saved, including ocean mammals.

But with red tide events increasing with climate change the fear is that science will always be playing catchup to the damage caused by humans.

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