Manatee viewing at Blue Spring has visitors lined up for miles

ORANGE CITY, Fla. — Tuesday at Blue Spring State Park in Orange City, the line of cars to see the natural phenomenon was at least a mile long.


Hundreds of manatee lovers went to the park to see the beautiful creatures.

And thanks to the colder weather, manatees have also flocked to the springs to keep warm.

The St. Johns River is sitting around 50 degrees, forcing the manatees to swim to Blue Spring, where the water is 72 degrees.

Read: Concerns grow over Florida’s manatee population after recent cold snap

Warm water is crucial for the “sea cows” to survive and thrive.

For visitors like the Beaudin family, the manatees were easy to notice at Blue Spring State Park.

“You just can’t help but see manatees. They are everywhere. It’s harder to see the ground between them underwater,” said Talia Beaudin.

Rangers estimate more than 630 now call this place home.

Read: Manatees huddle together as the cold weather moves through Florida

“We wanted to bring our kids out here. There are so many. It’s amazing,” said Beaudin.

There’s a renewed push to put manatees back on the endangered species list.

Algae blooms and the loss of sea grass habitat were causing the sea mammals to die.

The Florida Wildlife Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began feeding manatees lettuce earlier this year as part of efforts to keep them alive.

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