Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park

Located about 75 miles north of Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida, on US 19, Homosassa Springs provides an informative and altogether pleasant day trip. It is noted especially for the manatees that congregate in the warm waters of the spring but other forms of (mostly) Florida wildlife are far from neglected, especially birds and fish of all sorts, plus alligators, native cats and bears.

The park is much more than a zoo; it is a rehabilitation center and refuge for birds and animals, particularly West Indian manatees, which live in the rivers and bays of south Florida. These vegatarian mammals require warm water, something that was in shorter supply than usual during the winter of 2000-2001 when near freezing air temperatures lowered the water temperature, too; many manatees died. More than natural threats, such as weather, manatees are threatened by humans, specifically those humans who carelessly kill and wound the gentle animals with their boat propellers. Few manatees in the wild do not bear scars from such encounters.

Walk now through the park at your own pace by clicking on the red-boxed icons on the plan. The images are mostly self-explanatory but, if not, click anyway. You might be surprised!