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Morning photo: Manatee madness

Florida wildlife

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A manatee comes up for air in Florida’s Crystal River.

CRYSTAL RIVER — Getting a closeup look at marine mammals is always a treat. I believe we have a lot more in common with our ocean-going friends than we realize, and we should be trying to listen to what they have to say. This week, I had a chance to visit the Crystal River in Florida this week to look for manatees. The gentle vegetarians are protected by various federal and state laws, but they are still struggling due to extensive development and other human activities along the Florida coast. One of the best places to catch a glimpse of manatees is at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park about 45 minutes north of Tampa, Florida. Biologists at the park help rehabilitate manatees that have been injured by boat strikes, and from the park’s manatee observatory, it’s easy to see the deep scars on their backs. We’ve made some progress on protecting these magnificent marine mammals, but there’s more work to be done.

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An underwater observation platfrom at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park gives visitors a great chance to watch manatees in their native habitat.

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Manatees that were injured by boat strikes swim in the state park.

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Turtles bask in the sun.

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A lucky iPhone shot.

 

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3 Responses

  1. Made me a bit homesick for Florida Bob!

  2. […] Morning photo: Manatee madness (summitcountyvoice.com) […]

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