Manatee of Crystal River

January 23, 2024  •  1 Comment

What else does the cold of January bring? Manatee!! The lumbering gentle giants from the salty shallows of the ocean come to the sublime warmth of the crystal clear waters of Florida's consistently warm springs! They maintain a balmy 72°f throughout the year and due to this fact, the beloved manatee congregate to these waters to keep warm during winter. As you can see, some of the springs can get quite crowded! Locals and tourist (like ourselves) travel to catch a glimpse of these protected and very mellow 'sea cows', or as I like to call them, 'floaty potatoes'. They look like big boulders in the water, slow to move as they gently roll and play, stopping on occasion to graze on grasses.

You can see in the drone shot that much of the area around Three Sisters Springs is roped off. This is to provide a sanctuary for the manatee, a place of safety where tourists cannot encroach. While people are allowed to float in the waters to view, they are not allowed to engage with them. The manatee are protected by the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act of 1978, which states: "It is unlawful for any person, at any time, intentionally or negligently, to annoy, molest, harass, or disturb any manatee."  At this particular spring, there are many volunteers and park rangers keeping a sharp eye on the manatee to ensure their safety.

Manatee AerialManatee AerialAerial view over Three Sisters Springs on the Crystal River in Florida, showing the manatee as they huddle in the warmth of the springs during a cold January day. Manatee BreathManatee BreathManatee taking a breath in the Crystal River, Florida. Manatee MomManatee MomMom and baby manatee in the Crystal River, Florida. Manatee MomManatee MomMom and baby manatee in the Crystal River, Florida.

 


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Terri LeBel
Great job!!!
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