Three Sisters Springs Refuge Shuts Down Because So Many Manatees Showed Up!

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Update

In 2016, Three Sisters Springs closed yet again, as an estimated 300-plus manatees gathered at the refuge in Crystal River, Florida.

Watch the video below, posted by Visit Citrus:

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Video of manatees outside Three Sisters Springs in Crystal River Florida this morning. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates about 300 manatees were using the spring as a warm water shelter this morning.

Posted by Citrus County, Florida :: The Water Lover`s Florida on Monday, February 8, 2016


Read more about the Three Sisters Springs manatee refuge in the original story below:

The manatee is an icon in Florida, and for good reason. Each winter, hundreds of manatees seek out warm-water refuges across the state to escape the frigid Gulf of Mexico. This year was an especially big year for the Three Sisters Spring, located in the heart of Crystal River, Florida, where manatee enthusiasts saw a rush of more than 300 manatees enjoying the warm spring!

The park, which typically sees an average of sixty-five manatees on a winter's day, had to close down in an effort to protect the gentle creatures when they arrived in record-breaking numbers. Although at first glance this may seem like a good thing, the large gathering of manatees at Three Sisters Spring may in fact be due to the decline of other warm-water refuges in the state.

In 2015, Three Sisters Spring recorded nearly twice as many manatees as ever before.

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Manatees are probably the most amazing creatures in the world. They are strict vegetarians, feeding mostly on seagrass, and they have no natural predators. They are the most gentle and friendly creatures in the sea, and are often very forgiving of the tourists that can at times crowd them as they overwinter at Crystal River.

On average, manatees weigh up to 1,800 pounds, and can grow to be as much as twelve feet long.

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Want to visit the manatees? Learn about best practices on page 2!

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Matthew M. Sullivan holds a bachelor's degree in creative writing from Grand Valley State University, with emphases in fiction and nonfiction. He lives smack-dab between some railroad tracks and Grand Rapids Michigan's third-busiest road, and spends his time studying film and literary fiction.