Manatees in April?

Old Mar 25th, 2004, 01:38 PM
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Manatees in April?

We want to drive to Crystal River, FL., to swim with Manatees week of April 5. Has anyone done this? Is it worth a 13-hour drive? (we'll do other things also, of course). Are there not enough manatees when the weather has warmed up? (I realize winter has more manatees there). Thanks!
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Old Mar 25th, 2004, 03:22 PM
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Old Mar 25th, 2004, 03:43 PM
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Not trying to preach here so don't get me wrong but, it is believed by some people that swimming with manatees is an unhealthy practice for them. Although they are receptive to human contact, it is not a natural occurance in their environment and can cause them a great deal of stress. Not to mention the injuries they sustain from all the boat traffic.
Just something to think about.
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Old Mar 25th, 2004, 04:15 PM
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I've never known them to be in Crystal River that late in the year. It's a gorgeous area and you'll enjoy it even if they're gone. I've been going there for 18 years.
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Old Mar 25th, 2004, 08:09 PM
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Swimming with manatees is an experience that you can't do in April, unless there's some freak cold snap. For a good look at some manatees, go to Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa. It's inexpensive and they have a wonderful rehabilitation tank that looks natural. It's sort of a half-way house for manatees. And a good educational opportunity.
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Old Mar 26th, 2004, 11:14 AM
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Old Mar 26th, 2004, 01:25 PM
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When you relate to swimming with the manatees - do you realize the size these manatees get to be? They're very large - and they look like a huge sea cow - if you're looking for a replacement to swimming with the dolphins - you're not going to get the same effect.

Manatees are vegetarians and eat scads of lettuce and other greens each day. I forget the amount but it's somewhere in the hundreds of pounds and they eat non-stop.

There's many, many things to keep you busy and entertained while on the gulf coast of Florida.
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Old Aug 8th, 2010, 12:32 PM
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Almost anyone who swims with manatees after swimming with dolphins will tell you that the manatees are much more interesting and fun. The effect is not the same as with a dolphin, its must better.

Just FYI LN - Manatees eat approx. 10% of their body weight in vegitation each day.

Seeing and observing a manatee is nothing like entering the water and interacting with one. They are completely harmless (refer to the USFWS website to confirm that) so there is nothing to worry about. What you should do is seek out a reputable tour operator so that you are sure to be aware of the rules of engagement and to make sure that what you are doing is within the guidlines of the federal goverment. The majority of all harassment of these animals comes at the hands of recreational and rental boaters who are either unaware of the laws or who choose to ignore them .
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