Manatees in Florida are moving by the droves into warmer waterways to avoid the chilly waters brought in by recent frigid temperatures.
During those occasional cold winter days in the Sunshine State, the warmth-seeking marine mammals have found sanctuary in springs and other warm waterways.
As the mercury dropped up and down the Eastern Seaboard late last week, residents spotted a number of manatees gathering in discharge canals, power plant outlets and warm natural springs.
One such spot is at Satellite Beach in Brevard County, where crowds of curious residents flocked around a canal to see the herd of sea cows.
“They like to come in here and get a little bit of warmth,” onlooker Dave Bray told WKMG. “They don’t like cold weather either, just like the rest of us.”
The average adult manatee measures about 10 feet long and can weigh as much as 1,200 pounds. They are known as gentle and slow animals who do not pose a danger to humans, but boaters are asked to be extra vigilant and to avoid areas where large numbers of the animals have gathered.