The park will open its gate on Dec. 3, giving wild manatees access to the warm, spring-fed habitat.
It will be the first time wild manatees will be able to reach the main spring that feeds the Homosassa River since the gate was installed under the park's Long River Bridge in 1980.
The bowl at Homosassa Springs has been home to the park's captive manatee herd - some of which are recovering from injuries - for about three decades.
The captive manatees, all female, will continue to live at the park, but in a smaller fenced area within the bowl of the spring.
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