Hundreds of manatees clog Florida wildlife spring

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Manatees Escape the Cold In Wildlife Refuge


Anyone hoping to swim with the manatees in Florida may have to wait a bit, as the manatees have taken up all the room for swimming.

Three Sisters Springs, a manatee refuge in Citrus County, about 65 miles north of Tampa on Florida's Gulf Coast, has been closed to the public because so many of the mammals are seeking shelter in warmer waters. It is estimated that as many as 400 manatees are resting in the spring named Idiot's Delight.

It is a popular spot for swimmers and kayakers, according to the refuge's website. The refuge also has a boardwalk area that is not affected by the closing.

However, swimming with the manatees is not an option for the foreseeable future.

While a large number of the manatees are in Three Sisters, it is estimated that there are more than 1,000 manatees in the Kings Bay/Crystal River/Homosassa River complex, of which Three Sisters Springs is a part, according to a statement from the Citrus County Visitors and Convention Bureau.

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Hundreds of manatees clog Florida wildlife spring
GENOA, ITALY - OCTOBER 01: A baby manatee plays against the glass in one of the very first public appearances on October 1, 2015 in Genoa, Italy. The baby manatee is the only one in Italy and there are only 10 zoos in Europe with these herbivorous marine mammals. (Photo by Awakening/Getty Images)
GENOA, ITALY - OCTOBER 01: A baby manatee plays with its mother in one of the very first public appearances on October 1, 2015 in Genoa, Italy. The baby manatee is the only one in Italy and there are only 10 zoos in Europe with these herbivorous marine mammals. (Photo by Awakening/Getty Images)
BamBam, a Florida Manatee, swims in his tank at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015, in Cincinnati. The 2-year-old, 335lb male was sent to the zoo for rehabilitation from SeaWorld Manatee Hospital in Orlando. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Miami Seaquarium assistant animal care supervisor Jessica Schiffhauer, left, prepares to bottle-feed an approximately 7-month-old orphaned manatee named Junebug, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016, at Miami Seaquarium in Miami. The population of Florida's iconic manatees has recovered enough that the species no longer meets the definition of "endangered" under the Endangered Species Act, federal wildlife officials said Thursday. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
A tourist watches a manatee being rehabilitated at Miami Seaquarium swim by Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016, at Miami Seaquarium in Miami. The population of Florida's iconic manatees has recovered enough that the species no longer meets the definition of "endangered" under the Endangered Species Act, federal wildlife officials said Thursday. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
BamBam, a Florida Manatee, swims in his tank alongside Betsey, right, a fully grown female, at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015, in Cincinnati. The 2-year-old, 335lb male was sent to the zoo for rehabilitation from SeaWorld Manatee Hospital in Orlando. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
The nostril of an adult Caribbean Manatee sticks out of the water on Tuesday April 10, 2012 in Singapore at the Singapore Zoo, which is actively involved in educating the public about wildlife conservation and has also been successful in breeding endangered species within the Zoo's premises. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
FILE - A Manatee swims at Blue Springs State Park in Orange City, Fla., in this Jan. 5, 2006 file photo. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016 Florida's manatee population has recovered enough that the species no longer meets the definition of "endangered" under the Endangered Species Act. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)
A rescued manatee eats a head of lettuce, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016, at Miami Seaquarium in Miami. The population of Florida's iconic manatees has recovered enough that the species no longer meets the definition of "endangered" under the Endangered Species Act, federal wildlife officials said Thursday. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Rescued manatees swim in a tank, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016, at Miami Seaquarium in Miami. The population of Florida's iconic manatees has recovered enough that the species no longer meets the definition of "endangered" under the Endangered Species Act, federal wildlife officials said Thursday. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
A manatee sticks its head out of the water, Thursday, May 15, 2014 at Miami Seaquarium in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
BamBam, a Florida Manatee, swims in his tank alongside Betsey, right, a fully grown female, at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015, in Cincinnati. The 2-year-old, 335lb male was sent to the zoo for rehabilitation from SeaWorld Manatee Hospital in Orlando. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
A rescued manatee swims in a tank, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016, at Miami Seaquarium in Miami. The population of Florida's iconic manatees has recovered enough that the species no longer meets the definition of "endangered" under the Endangered Species Act, federal wildlife officials said Thursday. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
In this underwater image made from video, Miami Seaquarium assistant animal care supervisor Jessica Schiffhauer prepares to feed and give vitamins to a rescued manatee, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016, at Miami Seaquarium in Miami. The population of Florida's iconic manatees has recovered enough that the species no longer meets the definition of "endangered" under the Endangered Species Act, federal wildlife officials said Thursday. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Michael Oetker, deputy regional director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, center in white, helps Miami Seaquarium assistant animal care supervisor Jessica Schiffhauer, feed three manatees, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016, at Miami Seaquarium in Miami. The population of Florida's iconic manatees has recovered enough that the species no longer meets the definition of "endangered" under the Endangered Species Act, federal wildlife officials said Thursday. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
A rescued manatee eats a head of lettuce, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016, at Miami Seaquarium in Miami. The population of Florida's iconic manatees has recovered enough that the species no longer meets the definition of "endangered" under the Endangered Species Act, federal wildlife officials said Thursday. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Michael Oetker, deputy regional director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, left, speaks during a news conference as two manatees swim by, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016, at Miami Seaquarium in Miami. The population of Florida's iconic manatees has recovered enough that the species no longer meets the definition of "endangered" under the Endangered Species Act, federal wildlife officials said Thursday. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
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