Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

This past weeked we decided to check out a local(ish) state park that's really more like a zoo.  Unlike your usual zoo, the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park only has animals that are native to our state, which was pretty awesome.  There's only one exception (sort of), a hippo named Lu.  He's only sort of an exception because even though he is an African animal, a former governor named him a citizen of Florida, so he can technically be called a Floridian too! 
homosassa springs wildlife park

The trip started off with a 20 minute boat ride from the main gift shop/information center to the park.  The guide gave us lots of information about the park, and we saw some wildlife on the trip.

All Little Guy could think about was the hippo, so headed there first. Boy, was he huge!  6,000 pounds, which is twice as large as hippos usually get in the wild. 

We learned a lot in the information session, which took about 20 minutes or so,  and during which Little Guy listened attentively the whole time!  I was pretty amazed by that.  He was taking in (and sometimes repeating to me) all that was told to us.   

In case you're wondering about the splatter zone sign, hippos are very territorial (which we witnessed first hand as Lu snorted and chased a few ducks out of his pool), and they mark their territory by spinning their tail and "using the bathroom." 

From Lu the Hippo, we moved on to the manatee encounter, which was awesome!  The manatee is an endangered species and our state animal.  We got to see them from above,

and below.

Then, we headed off to take a look at the other animals.

Little Guy was pretty happy because the snake in the above picture completed his "roasted fox, owl ice cream, scrambled snake" list.  Can you tell he loves The Gruffalo?

We even came across some animals that weren't on our map.

It took us about 3 hours to visit the entire park.  We took the tram ride back to the main parking lot and checked out some of the displays they had in the information center. 

Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park is open from 9:00 - 5:30pm 365 days a year. Admission is $13 for adults and $6 for kids 6-12.  Kids 5 and under are FREE!  You can find out more about the park at www.floridastateparks.org/homosassasprings

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