Red tide alert: SW Florida residents warned to keep pets out of water

SARASOTA — Officials are warning people to keep their pets out of the water in the Sarasota area because of red tide.

While most of the red tide bloom in the Gulf has moved offshore, it's still lingering in estuaries across the region. In fact, wildlife officials found medium to high concentrations in Tampa Bay and Sarasota Bay in samples taken Monday.

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports some of the highest concentrations were found near Bird Key Park, prompting officials to warn residents about keeping their pets safe.

Red tide is microscopic algae that can release toxins poisonous to marine life and can cause respiratory irritation. It has been reported up and down the southwest Florida coastline recently. It can be deadly to dogs and other animals who consume tainted red-tide water.

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