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In Florida, any time you’re near some water, you need to be on the look out for alligators. A couple was taking their dog for a walk at Riverside Park in Oviedo, when a 12-foot alligator came out of the water and snatched the dog. According to the New York Post, the quick thinking doggy owner jumped on the gators back and was able to free the dog from the gators mouth.

The next day, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission trapped the gator and euthanized it. The gator was measured at 12-feet, six-inches long.

The dog is reportedly receiving treatment at a local animal hospital. [Source: New York Post]

Reminder to all the new comers to Florida. Alligators are most active and aggressive during mating season, which lasts from April to June. Male gators are on the prowl for a female and will defend their territory, no matter what it is. Also this might be the most important piece of advice…. DON’T FEED THEM!


5 Springs That Are Worth The Drive From Tampa

Summer is almost here and it’s time to start thinking about summer vacation. Forget beach days, the new craze for Florida families is packing up the car and heading to a natural spring. Most likely, this springs will be less crowded and it’s a chance to get close to some Florida wildlife. Here are 5 springs that are definitely worth the drive from Tampa. If you don’t want to make the trip, here are some springs that are 2 hours away from Tampa (or less).

Many of these state parks are cheaper to visit than a day of parking would cost you on Clearwater beach and are usually less populated, especially if you head there on a weekday. Cool down in the 72-degree water year round, if you’re lucky enough you may even spot some manatees. It’s worth noting that you should try to get to the springs as early as possible. On weekends and peak days they will close down due to capacity.

Travel & Leisure helped us build this list with the most pristine springs in Florida. We condensed the list and added a few of our own favorites. Most of the springs on this list are at least a 2 hour drive from Tampa.

Here are 5 springs that are worth the drive from Tampa

  • King's Landing

    King’s Landing is only a 2 hour drive from Tampa which makes it our favorite spring to visit in Florida. If you get there early enough, you won’t have to worry about getting a hotel or camping spot for the night! Here you’ll find crystal clear waters, manatees, and even some river otters.


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  • Ginnie Springs

    Ginnie Springs is one of the most popular camping grounds/springs in Florida. It’s located in the Gainesville area making it about a 2.5 hour drive from Tampa. The clear waters will prove it’s totally worth the drive!

  • Juniper Springs

    Juniper Springs is also only about 2 hours from Tampa. It’s located within Ocala State Park. It’s also located near Silver Glen Springs, Juniper Springs, and Salt Springs.

    5 Springs That Are Worth The Drive From Tampa

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  • Homosassa Springs

    Homosassa Springs was actually named one of the best summer destinations for 2023! Thankfully for us, it’s about an hour and 15 minute drive from Tampa.

    5 Springs That Are Worth The Drive From Tampa

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  • Devil's Den

    Devil’s Den has become a super popular destination for tourists and locals. They offer scuba diving and snorkeling trips. Or, you can rent a cabin and stay for the weekend! It is also a short trip to Cedar Lakes Woods and Gardens Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve.



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