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Record number of manatees crowd Volusia waters

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VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - A record number of manatees crowded the warmer water at Blue Spring State Park Monday morning.

Park officials spotted 323 manatees, the highest number this year and more than last year. They said the high numbers show their population in the adjoining St. John’s River is holding strong but they are still endangered.

State records show there are still more than 4,800 manatees in Florida. Many manatees come to Blue Spring for the clear, 72-degree water and that’s one of the main reasons it’s such a popular tourist destination.

Visitors can watch the creatures swim, eat and play.

In 1991, there were only a little more than 1,200 manatees left in Florida.