Migrating south: Man and manatee agree, SWFL is the place to be

Reporter: Stephanie Byrne
Published: Updated:
Manatee at Manatee Park in Fort Myers (WINK News)

It’s that time again when people start to migrate south for the winter.

“It just started snowing up in Minnesota, so even though it’s a little cold for the Floridians, I’m enjoying the weather,” said Rachel Covi from Minnesota.

But as the people make their way toward SWFL, so do our flippered friends.

“This is the first time we’ve been at Manatee Park where we actually see manatees,” laughed seasonal residents, David DeRita and Catherine Tupper.

When temperatures drop, manatees look for warmer waters for survival. In this case, the warm water is thanks to the power plant across the street.

That meant Mantatee Park visitors were in for a treat Tuesday morning.

Tupper said at the time she’d seen about four or five manatees. “I think if you stand here long enough, you’ll see plenty of them.”

Covi said she saw eight or 10 and seasonal residents Paula and Frank Gagliano said they’d seen a couple of dozen.

Man and manatee can agree, coming to SWFL is a great way to beat the cold: “Fort Myers is wonderful. We enjoy ourselves down here a lot,” said Frank. “We love it,” said Paula.

The best months to look for manatees at Manatee Park are late December through early February.

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