STUART, Fla., July 1 (UPI) -- A Florida family used a garden hose to help a manatee found struggling in the thick alae that has overtaken the canal behind their home.
Adam and Chris Palas said they and their 5-year-old daughter spotted the manatee struggling through the thick cyanobacteria, aka blue-green algae, in the canal behind their Stuart home Wednesday night.
"It kept poking its head out through the algae and it had the algae in its nose and mouth and eyes. It kept spitting it out," Adam Palas told WPEC-TV.
Palas retrieved the family's garden hose and created a shower of clean water that drew the manatee to the surface.
Chris Palas posted a video of the manatee enjoying the clean water to Facebook.
"I left the hose running on full blast and it did what it wanted to do," Adam Palas said. "It would come up once and drink and came up again and let it splash on its face and clear out its nostrils."
"It's pathetic to sit there and watch an animal being poisoned to death basically," he said.
Palas said the manatee left after a while and hasn't been seen since.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency Thursday over widespread algae blooms that have forced the closure of beaches in parts of South Florida including Marin County, where the Palas family's home is located.