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Hundreds of Manatees Keep Warm in Fla. River

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Officials estimate that close to 300 manatees huddled together in the warmth of the Three Sisters Springs in Crystal River, Florida as temperatures dipped. Video: VisitCitrus.com. (Published Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016)

    Cold weather is sticking around the Sunshine State and now hundreds of manatees are taking shelter in the warm waters of Crystal River on Florida's west coast.

    The manatees have huddled together at a refuge inside the Three Sisters Springs, which sits about 75 miles north of Tampa in Citrus County.

    The high number of manatees has forced the refuge to close to swimmers who visited the area in hopes of taking a dip with the animals. However, visitors can still check them out from the boardwalk.

    On Crystal River's Facebook page, it says: "Thank you for your understanding and patience as we allow the manatees their space to rest and stay warm."

    It also says staff will reassess the conditions Thursday morning to see whether the manatee numbers have decreased and an opening of the springs is warranted.