MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. -- A dead manatee washed up near the Bradenton shore on Sunday.

  • Dead manatee found in the water near Bradenton
  • FWC responded to the scene
  • Unclear if manatee's death was due to red tide

Trailer Estates resident John Williams made a sad discovery while out walking his dog. 

"I saw a little manatee pushing a big object," he said. "I looked a little closer and it was another manatee just floating on top of the water." 

Williams called the authorities hoping for the best, but the adult manatee was already dead. 

A crew from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission responded to the scene. They pulled the sea cow through part of Sarasota Bay and into a boat dock less than half a mile away from where it was discovered.

The manatee will likely be transported to FWC's facility in St. Petersburg so researchers can determine if the cause of death is linked to the red tide bloom. 

So far this year, FWC believes 115 of the more than 500 manatee deaths across the state are linked to red tide. ​

Please call FWC's Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922 if you see sick, stranded, distressed or dead manatees or other marine mammals.