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566 manatees visit this Florida state park in 1 day, a new record

The big sea cows like to spend time in the warmer, 72-degree water.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

ORANGE CITY, Fla. — Blue Spring State Park is one of the best places to see manatees, and there were many to check out one January day.

The park set a single-day all-time record of 566 manatees during a daily morning count early last month, according to The Daytona Beach News-Journal

It's a unique feat, considering the weather and neighboring waterways have been warmer than usual this winter.

"They were all ready to warm up," said Michael Watkins, the park manager. "Usually, depending on how things go, we see 100 to 300 manatees daily."

Manatees typically gather in the warmer, 72-degree water of the spring during the wintertime, trying to escape the cold of the St. Johns River.

The News-Journal reports it isn't known where exactly they all come from, hundreds of miles of away even, but they do know to visit the spring.

"The manatees come here when the water starts to get cool and the temperatures get colder," said Dave Michaelson, a park service specialist.

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