Hundreds Of Manatees Seek Refuge In Warm Water Florida Springs

This amazing footage shows nearly 500 manatees seeking warmth from the cold. When temperatures along Florida’s Gulf Coast dipped below 50 degrees, the sea cows crowded into the Three Sisters Springs, which has had to be periodically closed due to the endangered animals. Their presence, however, drives even more visitors hoping to get a glimpse of their impressive bulk, which can reach 1,300 pounds. It might sound cozy, but cold-weather is a serious threat, and is a leading cause of death for these West Indies manatees.

Things are looking up for the big fellas though, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced in January a proposed down-listing from endangered to threatened status under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). A recent record minimum count of 6,250 manatees has been recorded by The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission during their annual survey of the state’s waters – this easily beats the last record of 5,077 in 2010. 

We are hoping for a success story for the big sea-cows, having been declared a U.S. federally endangered species in 1966, their recent recovery is likely due to decades of conservation efforts. To read more about this go here.

Want more from the wild?

Get nature's weirdest & most wonderful straight to your inbox.

Next Up

Polar invasion: how plants and animals would colonise an ice-free Antarctica

Peter Convey, British Antarctic Survey and Tom Hart, University of Oxford Antarctica’s ice sheets could totally collapse if the world’s fossil fuels are burnt off,...

Australian Government To Count Koalas Left In The Wild

National koala audit to cost $2 million.

Stork Chicks Hatch In UK For First Time In 600 Years

Why that's great news for British wildlife.

Watch A Brave Bird Chase Elephants From Its Nest

Never get between a mother and her eggs!

Watch Jaguars Play ‘Tug Of War’ With 10ft Anaconda

We're in Brazil and tourists watch on as a mother jaguar pulls an anaconda out of the river in front of them.

Watch: Incredible Battle Between Wild Dogs, Hyenas, Hippos & 2 Impalas

A pack of hunting wild dogs clash with hippos and hyena in there quest for an Impala kill.