Best and Unexpected Florida Wildlife Animals You Should See

Wildlife is the last thing that comes to a traveler’s mind when someone mentions Florida. Disney World, spring break, and key lime pie are often associated with the state. But black bears and bobcats are not.

Many visitors are unaware that Florida is teeming with animals. The state has such a diverse habitat. It has three national forests and 38 state forests. The Sunshine State also has 1,104 swamps and more than 6,000 reefs. The various habitats mean Florida wildlife animals are as diverse.

This makes Florida an ideal destination for animal lovers and adventurers. Those who prefer other pursuits will enjoy seeing the state’s cool native animals. Here’s a sampling of what you can find:

Flamboyant Spoonbill

If you love the color pink in all its variations, then you’ll adore the roseate spoonbill. You can only find this fantastic bird in Florida. It has striking fuchsia plumage. It has a long, flat bill and red patches on its shoulders.

It’s a wading bird with an impressive wingspan and long, sturdy legs. Experts believe its striking colors are the result of the crustaceans it devours.

Gentle Black Bears

Many visitors are always surprised to find the American black bear in Florida. This adorable animal is often found in the cooler climes of North America. But the black bear also flourishes in Florida. Its fur is a bit on the brownish side though. It’s because lighter-colored fur doesn’t store as much heat. It’s not something the black bear should worry about considering how hot Florida gets.

Black bears have a gentle and shy nature. They prefer to run away or climb trees when faced with danger. They’re great climbers and quite intelligent too. You can find these gentle and cute giants in Florida’s many parks.

Mesmerizing Manatees

The manatee is one of the most laid-back and relaxed animals on the face of the planet. You can pet them or swim with them without any problems. They’re so chill that they move at a snail’s pace. Actually, they swim around five miles an hour. It’s slow enough that barnacles and algae grow on their backs. But manatees can put on a burst of speed though. They can plow through at 15 mph. There has to be a good reason for it though.

Manatees are like sea cows. They eat grass, leaves, and kelp. They can live in freshwater but are also found in saltwater. Despite their diet, these docile sea creatures can grow up to four meters long. They also weigh between 200 to 600 kilograms.

Stately Alligators

Alligators are more than a dime a dozen in Florida. There are around 1.3 million American gators in the Sunshine State. You can also find a smattering of crocodiles as well. The alligator is such a big part of Florida that it was then designated as its state reptile.

There are many fun facts about alligators. For one, this majestic reptile loves a freshwater environment. It’s why gators thrive in lakes, rivers, and swamps. But it can also survive in salt water. They can’t live in the sea or ocean for long though. They can tolerate it for a few hours or at best, a couple of days.

Want more alligator facts? They have glow-in-the-dark eyes. They also love a juicy fruit or two. Gator blood reportedly has antibiotic properties. It’s also antiviral and works against viruses like HIV-1 and the Herpes simplex virus.

Explore the Wild Side of Florida

Florida has more than its fair share of wildlife. One of the best ways to see them is to go on a Swamp Fever Airboat Adventures tour. Our company is famous for its airboat swamp tours. Take a ride with us and experience the magnificence of the Everglades. We’ll show you the American gator up close. You can also see manatees, rock turtles, and a variety of birds. We offer 30-minute and hour-long tours with the famous Capt. Ron. Drop us a line here to book a trip. You can also buzz us at 352-643-0708.