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Manatee Springs

This refers to a place in the state of Florida in the U.S. However this post is all about manatees, aquatic herbivorous marine mammals. They are very large and gentle creatures that because of their size are sometimes called “sea cows”. I love seeing manatees swimming in aquariums and would like to see them for myself in their own environment.

William Bartram an 18th-century naturalist named an area in northwest Florida “Manatee Springs” because he had seen a dead manatee upon the shores of Suwannee River and wanted to see them alive and protected. Manatee Spring is a state park where manatees can live and swim to their heart’s content.

Manatees swim into the Gulf of Mexico and from there into the many springs found in Florida. In the winter months, the springs stay a warm 72 degrees F. This makes them an ideal place for manatees to wait for the winter to end. The river bottom offers plenty of grassy kelp which is the favorite dish of these mammals. Other native animals found here are the large-mouth bass and speckled perch and on occasion an alligator.

Manatee Springs became a state park in 1971. People are allowed to swim here in the summer but not in the winter so that the manatees can have their peace and quiet. If you would want to see a manatee up-close then kayaking is allowed all year-round and the manatees being social creatures swim right up to the boats and let people pet them. If you get lucky you might even spot some baby manatees since the warm waters are also a nursery during calving months.

  • Question /

    Have you seen manatees?

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  • Question /

    Would you enjoy swimming with them?

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  1. The “lamantin” or manatee is such a gentle marine mammal. They do not really deserve the name of sea cows except when it comes to their diet. It is great that Florida seems to protect these gentle giants as they are prone to accidents from boats motors and pollution… Great picture of a beautiful and still graceful animal.

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