Tampa, Florida/USA; january 10 2010: Some views of the manatte viewing center aside the Tampa Electric company or TECO


Manatee Viewing Center


One of Florida's more surreal wildlife encounters is spotting manatees in the warm-water discharge canals of coal-fired power plants. Yet these placid mammals show up here so reliably from November through April that this is now a protected sanctuary. Tarpon and sharks can be spotted as well, and a new interactive stingray exhibit in a 10,000-gallon tank allows up-close interaction. The latter can be touched (two fingers only!).

A snack bar, bathrooms and picnic tables round out the sight. It's half an hour from downtown Tampa; take I-75 south to exit 246 and follow signs.

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