Thursday, February 21, 2013

Man Hugs Manatee, Posts Photos on Facebook, Gets Arrested

An arrest warrant was issued based on the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act, which makes it illegal to injure, harm, harass, capture or attempt to capture one.

“This was a young manatee which was likely still dependent on its mother for food and protection,” FWC manatee biologist Dr. Thomas Reinert said.

“Separating the two could have severe consequences for the calf.”

“The calf also appeared to be experiencing manatee cold-stress syndrome, a condition that can lead to death in extreme cases,” added Reinert.

“Taking the calf out of the water may have worsened its situation.”

If convicted, Ryan Waterman reportedly faces a $500 fine and a maximum 60 days in jail, spokeswoman Katie Purcell told the Palm Beach Post.

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