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Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
This is a very interesting Florida State Park that has a long history. If you go back before the time of Disney there were many Florida side road attractions, they ranged anywhere from your typical fruit stands (that you still see today) to amusement parks. They were sprouting up all over Florida prior to any interstates. Many have been lost and even forgotten. When the interstate came through & Disney took over, however there are a few scattered time capsules that are still left out in Florida worth exploring and this is one of them.
The park was originally a private owned zoo that had monkey's and anything else that you expected to see in a zoo. The big center of attraction back then & still today is what they called the giant fish bowl. The springs by nature came down the river into a deep area where they were able to place a floating barge where visitors could view the Manatees in their natural surroundings below. That major part of the park is still there with many others including Lu the hippo. When the State took over the park there was a decision made to remove all species that are not native to Florida. When it came time to move Lu the citizens of Homosassa petitioned and the end result was that Lu became an honorary citizen of Florida.
Lu is one of the main attractions of the park along with feeding the Manatees program. The park has an abundance of bird species that live at the park even though they have the capability of leaving any time they wish. Speaking of leaving, even Lu did leave during a hurricane but found his way back to the park knowing that's where he wanted to be.
I'm still amazed of how many different birds have decided to make the park their home even though they can leave at any time. Example: how do they keep a Bald Eagle in a space that is clearly marked where the Bald Eagle stays in the park. That is only one example of the way that the whole park is set up.
All said & done we had a great day at the park. We found this was one of Florida's lost treasures and we would like to visit again.