Today is Manatee Appreciation Day which is observed the last Wednesday in March.  I remember back to the last time I was lucky enough to see one in the wild. 

If you ever want to see one in the wild a great place is the Manatee Viewing Center in Apollo Beach, Florida.   It is just south of Downtown Tampa.   There is a viewing area across from a power station.    The manatees gather there during the winter months due to the warmer waters.

My wife and I only saw one there as it was pretty late in the season. The center also had areas where you could see other wildlife like birds, fish and even a few stingrays.

Photo by Mrs. Fly
Photo by Mrs. Fly

When I was younger I saw a couple manatees in the wild off the Gulf of Mexico in Pine Island, Florida about an hour North of Tampa.  The beach was near where my grandparents lived during the winter.

The beach on the Gulf was also the one time I saw a pair of dolphins swimming around. At first for some reason I thought they were sharks, but getting closer to them you could tell they were dolphins.

If you want to try to see manatees and are in the Tampa area check out the viewing center.

Hopefully the next time there I will be able to see more of the unique animals.



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