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Florida bed and breakfast for sale has spring swimming with manatees: See photos

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On Manatee Appreciation Day, we’re giving you a look at a Florida bed and breakfast, spotted on Zillow Gone Wild, that abuts a manatee habitat in the back yard.

Crystal Blue Lagoon Bed and Breakfast in Crystal River, located on the Gulf Coast north of Tampa, hit the market this month for $3.3 million, as listed by Maggie Moore with Coldwell Banker Next Generation Realty.

Seller Lynn Marcom told USA TODAY in an interview that she became the owner accidentally approximately eight years ago, when her friends couldn’t run it.

But she said the place now owns her heart, and she is only partying ways with it so she can pursue other things in retirement with her husband.

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“We don’t see it as a job, it’s a real pleasure for us to run,” Marcom said. “It’s our baby.”

Manatee Appreciation Day: Watch manatees gathering in the cold in Florida

Manatees seek protected alcove at Crystal Blue Lagoon

Marcom said the bed and breakfast attracts a lot of nature lovers who come to learn about the manatees.

“We don’t advertise, but we’re busier than we wanna be to be honest,” she said.

The five-bedroom, five-bathroom business is dripping with nautical décor, which Marcom took the first year to renovate. According to the website, the rooms run at $245 a night.

The protected springs in the backyard give manatees a place to gather when the water gets too cool. Marcom also said wildlife officials can help rescue orphans or injured manatees and release them in that area. Getting to be so close with manatees, Marcom said a lot of neighbors are cognizant of the sea cows when they are boating. As moving to the warmer springs is their natural pattern, the manatees do not require any care, she said.

She thought anyone interested in a good business could be a suitable buyer, but she hopes to find someone special to care about manatee conservation to leave the establishment to.

Manatees, native to Florida, deemed a threatened species

The Florida manatee is a large, gray aquatic mammal native to the region. They typically grow to be nine to 10 feet long and weigh approximately 1,000 pounds.

The Florida manatee was classified as an endangered species before its population reached more than 7,500 and it was reclassified as “threatened,” meaning it still could become an endangered species in the near future.

Collisions with boats and loss of habitats that provide warm waters, like many in the Crystal River area, threaten the manatee population. Many manatees are also struggling to find food.

“The loss of warm water refuges is seen as a serious long-term threat to the continued existence of the manatee,” according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. “Due to the inability to regulate their body temperature (thermoregulate) in cold water, cold stress is a serious threat to the manatee.”

The big, blobby creatures are plant-eaters, often feeding on seagrass that has earned them the nickname, “sea cows.”

Manatee Appreciation Day

Manatee Appreciation Day is celebrated every year on the last Wednesday in March. This year it is held on March 27th. According to the website Days Of The Year, Manatee Appreciation Day started back in 1981 as a way to raise awareness about the beloved sea cows.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Manatee haven bed and breakfast for sale featured on Zillow Gone Wild



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