Hundreds of manatees gather for warmth in Florida spring

CITRUS COUNTY, FL (WFLA) —More than 200 manatees are huddled together at Three Sisters Springs in Crystal River to stay warm during a cold snap.

The freezing temperatures are particularly tough on Florida’s manatees, who need heat to survive.

A local boat captain spotted the hundreds of manatees nose to nose, huddling together to stay warm.

Nina Zapala, a spokesperson for Discover Crystal River, told WFLA there are people in the water swimming with the manatees.  She says the Crystal River is the only place in the contiguous U.S. where people are legally allowed to swim with manatees.

A video of the manatees was posted to Facebook and has garnered thousands of views. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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