UPDATE: Wildlife Officials Investigating Manatee Jumpers
By Space Coast Daily // May 21, 2013
VIDEO OF THE DAY
ABOVE VIDEO: Two men posted a video that showed them jumping on to Manatees. According to an article in the Daily Mail, the incident occurred in Fort Pierce. Florida law prohibits harassing, molesting or disturbing manatees or any endangered species. Authorities have not taken action against them, though Facebook posts have been successfully used in the past to prosecute against animal cruelty. Fox’s Tampa Bay affiliate reports that the two men are both from Brevard County.
UPDATE: According to Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission Public Information Officer Leonard Salberg, three individuals are being investigated for a video which showed them jumping into the water next to a pair of Manatees. One of the suspects is believed to be from Alabama, while two of the suspects are described as “local.” Yesterday, MyFoxTampabay.com reported two of the suspects as Brevard County residents.
“We’re looking into it,” Salberg said. “If we feel like we can enforce it, we will take it to the State Attorney’s office and they could face a second degree misdemeanor. The Federal Fish & Wildlife can file charges, and if they press charges, the men in the video could be fined up to $50,000 for harassing manatees. We have to look at the video and make sure it hasn’t been altered or doctored. We also need to check the video’s age and check for statute of limitations”
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