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The wild side of Florida
One of the nicest things when you visit Florida is being able to see the different wildlife. I know most people just go to see “ The mouse “ but there is much more to Florida than just the theme parks. Here are a few examples of things you might come across on your next trip.
Starting with one of the largest is the Manatee, they average about 3 meters long and weigh in at about 800lbs, grey in colour the look a bit like over grown seals, they are gentle slow moving creatures that graze on plant life, they are an endangered species due to injuries with speed boats etc and spend their winters in Florida. There are many organized trips to various springs that allow you to swim with these magnificent creatures.
Next comes the Alligator, most people expect to see these at some point during a trip to Florida a well known saying is that where there is water there are Gators! Fully-grown ones are between three and four meters long. Normally found in freshwater swamps and marshes and lakes there is several Gator parks around Orlando the most popular one being Gatorland. Their population stated decreasing in the 60’s due to them being hunted for their skins which produce high quality leather but populations have now improved though conservation programs like the ones at Gatorland.
Bobcats are among the animals that roam Florida, living in woody, grassy areas, not commonly spotted, as they are nocturnal. They weigh about 20lb, light to reddish brown in colour and have short tails.
A common sight in Florida are the squirrels, these can be seen all about Florida, even in the theme parks, cute little things that are almost tame and wait to be fed.
There are several types of snakes, most are non venomous the most common being the black racer, these are small black snakes and totally harmless. Other poisonous ones can be seen as exhibits in the wildlife and national parks.
We must mention the various birds common to Florida, the most well know bird of Prey being the Bald Eagle, they can have a wing span of up to 7 ½ feet and measure 43 inches in length, their eyes are 5 to 6 times more powerful than humans. These are found in open forests and wetlands. There is an eagle nest that you can see if you go on the Boggy Creek airboat ride.
Other fascinating birds are the Cranes which can often be seen around, hawks and vultures are also common to Florida
Well that is just a small selection but there are many many more. So why not visit one of the many National parks that are close by and take a “ walk on the wild side “
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