Homosassa Florida :: Jan 1-4 2004 Part 1
Mander and I headed southward for the new year, to escape the cold and hit the waters of the gulf in search of manatees. Our first stop was the Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park. Mander had called ahead to check the place out, and they claimed to be a rehab center for local wildlife. In actuality, while they do seem to have some rehab stuff going on, it felt more like a local wildlife zoo; not exactly our kinda place.
In the end we didn’t dig it too much, given our attitudes towards zoos and the like, but we shot some stuff regardless.
This is the mighty Lucifer, Hippo extraordinaire. What’s a hippo doing at a so-called native wildlife park? Originally this joint was a privately owned exotic animal zoo, and when the state took over they transferred out all the other exotics, save for ole Lu here. The claim is that the locals of Homosassa had taken a liking to Lu, and petitioned to keep him around.
Lu seems pretty damn lonely, if you ask me. If Homosassa really cared about Lu, they’d hook him up with a better life than this.
Fish! The water here is crystal clear.
The park does rehab injured and orphaned manatees. They’ve got this underwater thingy you can enter to watch the dudes feed. Manatee aft! Baby got… umm… tail!
Manatee fore! Baby got… err… whiskahs!
And, yes, more fishes.
Here’s the feeding pen. The manatee’s aren’t trapped in it. It’s just a floating square made to keep most of the lettuce and whatnot from floating downriver. Essentially it’s their very own salad bar.