Chilly manatees are hot stop for nature lovers

- Not all eyes in the Bay Area were on the Tigers or Crimson Tide.  The cold weather made for great manatee viewing Monday at the Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center in Apollo Beach.

The location is one of the better spots for nature lovers to witness the manatees in their natural environment. The manatees -- along with sharks and rays -- gather there during the winter because they enjoy the warmer water from the Big Bend power plant.

Dozens of families came out Monday to enjoy the scene.

"I've never seen this many manatees in the wild before," one person offered.

"It's really incredible just how many can be in one area at the same time," another observed.

TECO's manatee viewing center near the Big Bend Power Station in is free.  It's open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

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