Visit Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park

Sunday, July 8, 2018
We like to visit State Parks and  recently we made a trip to Homosassa Springs State Park at Crystal River, Florida.  This park is a true crown jewel in the collection of Florida state parks. Homosassa and Weeki Wachee and Silver Springs are the three parks that are much more than a nature center and playground. Homosassa is a tourist destination and basically a mini theme park for rehabilitative native Florida species.

I am not a big fan of zoo's.  I feel like animals should not be taken from their natural environment to begin with, made it perform, and then confined to a tiny space. Animals deserve to be in their natural habitat.  However, I support sanctuaries and wildlife preserves just like this park.  It is created to rehabilitate and heal animals. Most of them are unable to survive on their own in the wild. So they are given a comfortable and safe environment at Homosassa Springs.


There's three ways to get to the park: #1 You can go on a boat ride you will cruise down the canal and learn about the various creatures you come across. #2 You can took the tram which is faster, more efficient, and runs more often. and #3 Drive yourself then just park right at the entrance if you don't want to bother with the extra ride.

Plan at least two hours to visit and walk the boardwalk as it takes you past different animals. It cost $13.00 for each adult to enter.   The entire park is handicap accessible. The only thing requiring the use of stairs is when you view the manatees through glass below water.


Crystal River in Florida is home to the largest number of manatees in the state.

As air temperatures lower in winter, sea cows migrate to Florida's springs because the water temperature of Crystal River remains a constant 72 degree temperature. Usually between November till March over 400 manatees will migrate to Crystal River each winter to seek refuge from the cold Gulf waters.


One of the Resident Manatee decided to show up!
 We went into the underwater observatory it was such a fun way to observe the fish in the springs.

I enjoyed this place more than I expected.  It's an injured animal facility so none of these animals can't be released and many have visible injuries but they appear well taken care of.   This place is like a nursery or retirement home for animals that have traumatic injuries or can no longer survive in the wild.   Every single animal has a heart warming story.

Alligator
Owl with eye problem
One of the bald eagle in the park who hurts its wings.  This one might have flown into a power line and the other could have hit a car.  They have amputated limbs and will live out their years under the tender care of the park. 
Black Bear
The flamingos were born in an airport so they moved them in an effort to save their lives.

All of the animals are native to Florida except Lu the Hippo.  She became a honorary citizen of the city when she was about to be displaced. The people fought to keep her and now she's one of the oldest hippos in captivity.

Beloved Lu the Hippo's


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27 comments:

  1. I adore flamingos! I hadn't heard the story of them being born in an airport. I need to follow that up!

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    1. That's from what I have heard, this park serves as a nursery and retirement home for animals.

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  2. We have never been to this part of Florida before. Would be totally new adventure for us to see the different wildlife that lives in a swamp environment.

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    1. Very educational for kids and adults as well. I wish I live close by too so I can go anytime and be a volunteer care helper.

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  3. I wish we was closer as this would be a place our family would enjoy visiting although once I was on the Boat they might have a hard time getting me off.

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  4. Oh wow what an excellent place to get up and close with nature. That's one of the things I love about Florida, so many animals from exotic to reptiles to just about everything in between. Looks like a great family adventure.

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    1. I agree Florida is a one of a kind State. Beautiful beaches, good food and lots of family attractions like this.

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  5. I have never been to this part of Florida. It looks and sounds like a great place to visit. Maybe on our next trip down there we can check it out. Great pics.

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  6. This looks like it was a great park to visit. I love the idea of entering the park by boat and learning more about it at the same time.

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    1. I agree it is one of a kind park everyone should visit it at least ones.

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  7. How fun is this place? My kids love seeing animals up close at zoos. I bet they would really have a blast at this place!!

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  8. I really need to visit here. I was in Navarre back in May and was on part of the Crystal River. I am amazed at how clear it is.

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    1. Navarre is a beautiful beach it is used to be a hidden gem till it becomes a tourist spot. Though we found this beach close to Navarre the Miramar Beach and we always go there at least once a year.

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  9. This looks like a wonderful park to visit with the family. Your pictures are gorgeous!!

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  10. We totally want to visit here one day soon. We live in the panhandle of Florida, so the drive isn't too bad.

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    1. Lucky you for living on that side of Florida. I love the Panhandle its a paradise. We go there at least every year. You'll never get bored on the clear blue water and sugary white sands.

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  11. Oh, my goodness! What a gem. I would definitely would love to check it out. Thanks for sharing!
    www.gregdemcydias.com

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  12. That looks like an amazing park to explore. Wherever we travel, we try to go to the parks. My granddaughters can spend hours in the park and will never get bored.

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    1. Parks is always a fun place to go aside from the relaxing scenery walking at the park is a good exercise as well.

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  13. I don't mind zoos because I get to see animals that I wouldn't normally see. This would be a great alternative though but we don't have one here.

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  14. It's beautiful and a lovely place to visit. I think places like this should be supported especially since they do so much to preserve the wildlife. I love it!

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    1. I totally agree I am not 100% sure that this park is a non profit one. But this organization I would like to support with all my heart. Their dedication and love to this animals is unconditional.

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  15. Wow, so many amazing sights to see and the animals are gorgeous! Would totally love to visit here with the family someday.

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  16. Jayden would love it here and wouldn’t want to leave! Those flamingos are gorgeous. Perhaps for his 26th birthday

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  17. I love visiting wildlife centers. All of the animals really get the kids excited.

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  18. This place looks amazing! I love the range of wildlife animals that they have. It's surely a great place to visit not only for families :D

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