Petting, grabbing, riding, poking and feeding manatees are illegal acts, both by state statue and federal regulation,
and can result in a significant fine.
The Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park serves as a rehabilitation and refuge
center for injured West Indian manatees. Many other manatees prefer to spend the winter
months around these constant temperature springs of the Homosassa River.
The Park's floating underwater observatory presents the visitor with a fascinating year round
view of thousands of fresh and saltwater fish. The observer will also be
rewarded with a beautiful spectacle of a manatee ever so slowly gliding past the
large plate glass windows.
It is estimated that only about 2,400 of the endangered West Indian manatee are
left world wide.
Manatees are protected by State and Federal laws such as Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act of 1978,
U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 and the U.S. Endangered Species Act of 1973.
Learn more about the manatee and its habitat
Manatee as seen from floating observatory
Two happy Manatees
Manatee in search of food
Manatee and calf resting
Return to State Park page.