When your husband says get up and out of bed early on a Saturday morning to take a road trip, you get up. Both of us getting new camera’s in the last few months, we like to try and practice with them as much as we can. So on this particular Saturday morning we headed north on U.S.19 which follows along the Gulf Coast of Florida. About an hour into the drive I was on my cell phone talking with a family member, when Kevin decides to pull over. Peaking out through the windshield I see a sign: Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park. Okay, this is something we have never done. I have lived in Florida for longer than I care to mention and I have never come to see the Manatees. Well it’s about time…
Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park
Entering the Main entrance building we could take a tram or a boat over to the wildlife park. We jumped on the boat that was just about to take off. The boat having an electric motor was nice riding on Pepper Creek, it made the 10 minute ride very tranquil. The Captain of our little boat was just filled with information about all the wildlife and surrounding nature. The ride included beautiful scenery, ducks, turtles and the occasional alligator. We were both very pleasantly surprised on all the different animals we were about to see in the wildlife park too.
A little info for you…
Arriving to the park, we paid our entrance fee of $13.00 per each adult (Children 6-12 yrs are 5.00) . The park is open 365 days a year and is open from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm. They have activities and events all the time, so if you plan on going check their schedules. Lots of fun programs for children to get participate in. There are restrooms, cafe and gift shops.
Did not know they had this here in Florida…
Several animals here we were not expecting! Definitely was not expecting a Hippopotamus! Or Black Bear, Wolves, Florida Panther, Bobcats and more!
Birds of all Kinds
Well hello there..
Now for the Main Event at Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park!
A short walk around and we were right on time for the feeding of the Manatees! Known also as Sea Cows, they are a very calm and docile mammal. They are vegetarians and graze under water similar to cows on land, slow moving. Thats why they are also called Sea Cows. Very large, they can be as long as 13 feet and weigh up to 1300 pounds! The Manatees spend 50% of their day sleeping under water. You can watch from above or you can go underneath to see them munch on their lettuce lunch.
Manatees are no longer on the endangered species list. However they are still have everyday threats from fishing lines and nets, boats, habitat and red tide. In Florida we have organizations that work hard to help save the Manatees. One such organization is the Save the Manatee Club , a nonprofit organization that has live Web cams you can watch.
We have been on a little mission to discover more in our own state like last years trip to the Everglades (read more). Taking a short road trip right in your area can bring some great explorations! We really enjoyed ourselves on this little Saturday morning excursion and I look for to many more with my husband.