Holy Sea Cows!

Manatees herd around Florida warm springs

By David Hogarty
|  Wednesday, Jan 21, 2009  |  Updated 6:00 PM EDT
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Hundreds of manatees have huddled together in the warm waters of Florida's Blue Springs State Park.

WESH

Hundreds of manatees have huddled together in the warm waters of Florida's Blue Springs State Park.

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Hundreds of manatees have huddled together in the warm waters of Florida's Blue Springs State Park.

The gentle mammals flock to the park's springs each year to escape the winter chill. The water gushing from the Blue Springs is a constant 72 degrees. 

Cold air temperatures and cooler water temperatures in the nearby St. Johns River have driven hundreds of the large sea mammals to huddle around the springs located in central Florida, according to the park's website.

In turn, the manatees attract thousands of tourists to the park. Experts say the colder the day, the more likely visitors are to spot the manatees huddled near the warm waters.

Manatees frequently congregate near warm water sources to ward off the cold, including warm-water discharge pipes around power plants.

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