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Swim and touch manatees in Crystal River

Posted: 8:07 AM, Jan 31, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-31 08:07:06-05

CITRUS COUNTY, Fla.-- The Crystal River in Citrus County is the only place in the United States that will allow visitors swim with and touch manatees.

The Crystal River is an ideal place for manatees looking to stay warm. The water of the river is typically about 72 degrees. You are encouraged to use a tour to swim with the manatees.

Florida Fish and Wildlife officers say even though you can swim with sea cows, they are endangered so a few rules apply.

Here is a list of things you cannot do while in the water with them:

  • Approaching the manatees, even if they are resting
  • Chasing
  • Disturbing or touching
  • Diving from the surface onto a manatee
  • Cornering or surrounding a manatee
  • Riding, holding, pinching or grabbing
  • Poking, prodding, or stabbing with anything, including your hands and feet
  • Standing or stepping on a manatee
  • Separating a mother and calf, or a manatee from a group
  • Feeding