Manatees Find Warm Water in Cold Temperatures
CHIEFLAND, Fla. -- With some unusual freezing temperatures this past week, humans aren't the only ones looking to stay warm.
And one Florida native, is doing just that…
"Manatees are always nice to look at," said Bob Batie.
Bob and Sandra Batie from Mason Michigan are enjoying a few days in Florida… escaping all the snow in their home state.
"We haven't seen manatees since the last cold spell when we were down here last year," he added.
And luckily for the Baties, manatees swim up the rivers and into the springs when the temperatures drop.
"What they do is, they try to get away from the cold. Once the water reaches 68 degrees, they find refuge in the warmer water. Our spring is 72 degrees, so they seek that out," said Park Ranger, James Godfree.
The Manatee Springs State Park in Chiefland attracts hundreds of visitors from all over the world each year.
And the main attraction… are of course, the manatees.
"Oh, it's always a good day when you see a manatee," added Batie.
An average of 66 manatees are spotted every month between the months of January though March in this spring run behind me. In previous years, as much as 120 manatees have been seen in just one month alone.
"We've vacationed in the area in the past, and we came up here today hoping to see some manatees," said Drew Brauer.
And they did just that.
A mom and her baby calf were keeping warm near the spring.
And visitors were excited to see the two swim up and down the water.
"What is it about the manatees that draws your attention and makes you want to drive out here?"
"well, I think just in their natural habitat… it's one of these things that you don't typically see. We're from northern illinois, so we obviously don't see manatees very often," added Brauer.
But they will here-- for now.
Manatees Springs State Park prohibits the use of boats from December through March… to protect the manatees.
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