Manatee Viewing Center to stay closed until 2021

Manatees gather in the warm waters of TECO's Apollo Beach plant
during the winter. (FOX 13 / file)

Manatee fans will have to wait a bit longer to flock to Tampa Electric's Manatee Viewing Center.

Due to COVID-19, TECO is delaying the opening of the viewing center. For now, it's not set to open until January 6 of next year; usually it opens in November.

Tampa Electric says the decision was made in order to protect the health and safety of visitors and the community.

Cold-sensitive manatees congregate in the warm outflow waters of the Big Bend Power Plant when the weather starts to cool down. 

The center's webcams will still go live on Nov. 1, allowing for virtual visits.