Manatee Abuse

      Many folks from our area are taking spring vacations to the warm waters of Florida. Many may visit the Crystal River area and snorkle with the gentle manatees. The animals, known as sea cows, spend the winter months in the warm spring-fed rivers and ponds, feeding on water grasses and raising their calves.

      Unfortunately, many of the tourists are in danger of loving these beasts to death. A Toledo area film maker recently documented abuse of the mantees. The abuse was condoned and even encouraged by some of the Crystal River tour operators. On NBC24 news at 7PM, you will see some of Mark Santa-Maria's pictures in a special exclusive report. I hope you'll watch.