Manatee hugs snorkeler in Crystal River

You can swim with the manatees in Crystal River, but one of the sea cows took a particular liking to one woman as she swam with the gentle giants!

Mandy Egner said she visted Crystal River on Friday with her cousin, who had never seen a manatee before.

Egner said they decided to go swimming in the spring with the manatees, only to have one come right up and appear to give her a hug.

"Wasn't planning on being hugged and flipped out of the water by one!" Egner said. "Totally all her [the manatee] doing the interaction!"

Though people are allowed to swim with the manatees in the springs, FWC says they must use "passive observation" and are not permitted to disturb the animals. However, it is OK if a manatee approaches and touches a human.