Apparently, Riding a Manatee is Against the Law in Florida [VIDEO]
Planning a summer vacation in Florida? Well, just to let you know, if you plan on riding a manatee, you could go to jail! Riding a manatee in the state of Florida is against the law and has been since 1967 because the manatee is an endangered species. Well, I guess a family from Florida didn't realize the law, because on their latest trip to Taylor Creek in St. Lucie County, Fla., the family was having a so-called "hey-day" with a manatee calf.
The family was riding, petting and taking the calf out of the water. How did the authorities found out? The family posted their day of fun on their Facebook page.
Florida Fish and Wildlife officials say they received a tip that Ryan William Waterman, 21, of Ft. Pierce, posted Facebook images of himself and two kids petting, lifting, and sitting on a manatee calf. So, the State Attorney's Office issued a warrant for Waterman's arrest based on the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act, which makes it illegal to injure, harm, harass, capture or attempt to capture a Florida manatee.
Marine biologist Dr. Thomas Reinert suspects the calf was still dependent on its mother for food and shelter. He also stated that being separated from the mother could be devastating for the calf.
If convicted, Waterman faces $500 fine and a maximum 60 days in jail.