A video of a Florida family spray-hosing a manatee has garnered over 1.4 million views on Facebook.
The description of the video, posted on Wednesday, says locals Chris and Adam Palas spotted a Manatee in their backyard canal and was “struggling to clear its airways” due to a high concentration of thick algae in the water, an epidemic currently plaguing Florida’s coastal waters.
The couple said that they seldom see manatee in the area and believe that the marine animal was almost certainly looking for a fresher aquatic pasture.
The couple then washed the Manatee off with a hose and gave it water to drink.
Florida Algae Epidemic
Waters along Florida’s “Treasure Coast” are currently subject to severe algae contamination, with the algae being described as “guacamole-thick,” “horrible and disgusting,” and just plain smelly.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott has already declared a state of emergency in counties over the algae booms. Florida Senator Bill Nelson has also visited infected waters to scout conditions.
The cause of the contamination is attributed to water flows in the area—particularly water flowing from Lake Okeechobee, Florida’s largest freshwater body. Water flows in the area are controlled by the Army in order to keep lake levels at a certain height. The federal government has been accused of releasing water from Lake Okeechobee in order to protect an eroding dike surrounding the lake.
Measures have already been taken to combat the algae. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District said they will reduce the amount of water flowing from Lake Okeechobee beginning this weekend, according to a press release posted on June 30.