Here's What It Looks Like When 300 Manatees Gather In One Acre

Illustration for article titled Here's What It Looks Like When 300 Manatees Gather In One Acre

Last week, 300 manatees gathered in Three Sisters Springs on the Crystal River in Florida, enjoying the safety and warmth of the sanctuary. Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge officials closed off the area to human visitors, but shared a few photos from the manatee meetup.

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Photo Credit: Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

Approximately 600 manatees spend the cooler months between November and March in Kings Bay and Crystal River. Three Sisters Springs is open to kayaks, canoes, and swimmers, but when manatee activity is high, as it was on Monday, February 2nd, officials close the area to humans so that the manatees can hang out undisturbed. The refuge was reopened the next day. So, what does it look like when that many manatees get together? Something like this:

Illustration for article titled Here's What It Looks Like When 300 Manatees Gather In One Acre

Photo Credit: Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge Complex [via Neatorama]

DISCUSSION

furiousangel
Furious Angel

Manatees are really awesome but goodness are they a difficult species to keep alive.

It's a huge thing down here in Florida for everyone who goes boating or does recreational activities in marshlands or springs to try and respect manatees, so as not to accidentally run them over with a propeller or stress them out via too much human interaction. I met a marine biologist once who was working on a manatee project in the Florida Keys and she said that the biggest challenge they face with sustaining the manatee population is how dumb they are. Like they have no idea or natural instincts of self-preservation and do a terrible job of protecting their young from any hazardous situations.