CASEY KEY — Nature and humans are returning to area beaches and waters.

An aggregation of manatees were swimming in and around the North Jetty Beach on Monday afternoon.

While the group — which was at least a dozen sea cows — enjoyed the warmth of the water, people eyed the manatees and got closer, taking photos while the sea mammals swam about.

Normally, according to experts, manatees swim alone or with a partner. They do tend to gather in large groups during colder seasons when they find warmer water together or during mating season.

Mating season began in March for manatees.

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