Red tide suspected as dead dolphins wash ashore

NAPLES, Fla. – Officials in Florida say dolphins seem to be red tide's latest victims as more than 20 have washed up dead since last week along the state's southwest coast.

News outlets report 22 dead dolphins appeared on beaches in Collier and Lee counties since Wednesday.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration marine mammal stranding coordinator Blair Mase says tests need to be completed but it seems brevetoxin from red tide is killing the dolphins and other animals as dead sea turtles and birds were also reported. Mase says she expects to see an increase Wednesday in red tide counts.

[Beachgoers beware: Red tide can affect your health]

NOAA says red tide happens when algae colonies grow out of control while producing harmful effects on people and animals.

Naples Harbor Master Roger Jacobsen says it's rare but three dead dolphins washed ashore since Sunday.