Crystal River is home to the largest concentration of West Indian Manatees in the world, and the winter population is growing every year. Over 1,000 manatees visited Citrus County in the 2014 winter season, that is an amazing number. The 72 degree springs provide warmth from the cold 55 – 65 degree waters of the Gulf of Mexico in the winter. Unfortunately, the limited vegetation in Kings Bay cannot support this large number, so manatees must leave the bay to feed during the mid day hours if temperatures allow. On frigid days, most of the manatees refrain from eating and remain in a resting state near the springs.