Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park was formally privately-owned and operated before the state of Florida took it over in 1984. It's located 75 miles north of Tampa on U.S. 19, and about 90 miles northwest of Orlando. (Click on any image to enlarge it.)
While it has on display many animals native to Florida like deer, bear, and fox, wild and free manatees regularly can be found in the waters surrounding the park; the overabundance of birds found here makes it a bird-watchers' paradise. Some of the residents in the park have been injured and/or rescued, like a hawk with only one wing. Many inhabitants, however, are not in cages but roam, swim, fly or nest freely within the park's confines. Visitors may start off their tour with a boat ride from the visitors' center to the entrance of the park itself.
During the short boat ride, some local wildlife like crocodiles and turtles can be seen in the water before you even get into the park.