Screenshot of amateur video showing a manatee before a man does a "cannonball" jump on top of it and a manatee calf.
Cocoa Beach, FL (Florida Today) -- Wildlife investigators are considering charges against two Cocoa Beach
men after a video surfaced online of one man jumping onto a manatee and
It's another case when a voluntary social media post could
lead to an arrest: The Facebook video first posted more than a year ago
was reposted to YouTube on Monday, catching the eye of state fish and
The amateur video shows the men apparently luring in the manatees before one leaps off a dock on a canal in Cocoa Beach.
"I'm going to do it, I'm gonna do it," one man tells the others.
Fish and Wildlife Officer Lenny Salberg said FWC's Internet crimes unit
immediately tracked the video after seeing it Monday. He said it was
filmed in Cocoa Beach, and two men in the video have been identified. A
third adult, who is out of state, will also be questioned for his
alleged involvement in the video.
"It's sad," Salberg said. "You
could see they were targeting them. They were trying to lure (the
manatees) in by spraying the water, and they were cannonballing right
Investigators with FWC and U.S. Fish and Wildlife are
reviewing the video to see if charges can be filed and what the
appropriate charges may be. Manatees are protected under the Endangered
Species Act, as well as state laws.
"The charges are molesting of
a manatee," Salberg said. "At a state level is a second-degree
misdemeanor, which the fines are up to $500 or six months in jail. It's a
Any federal charges could result in fines up to $50,000.
Salberg said investigators are also reviewing the statute of limitations, which could prevent them from charging the suspects.
said many manatee deaths are caused by blunt force trauma, for example,
after being hit by a boat or jet ski. That could have been the case
here, had one of the manatees suffered a direct hit.
"It's no different than jumping on a human's back," Salberg said.
Last year a St. Petersburg woman made national headlines after photos showed her riding on top of a manatee.
PHOTOS: Woman seen riding on manatee
Ana Gloria Garcia Gutierrez eventually turned herself in and was later charged with a misdemeanor.
You may also like...
Tropical Trouble: Code enforcement wants dream treehouse torn down
Prostitute Roundup: 92 arrested in online sex sting
Attractive Convict: Woman behind mug shot meme sets the record straight
Crime-Fighting Gator: Man flees cops, attacked by alligator
Homebrew Soda: Man claims to find Coca-Cola recipe, sells it on eBay
Friendly Fire: Woman accidentally shoots friend at Starbucks
Science project gone bad: Teen arrested after school explosion
PHOTOS: Bikini bike wash!
Trapped: Elderly man trapped in car for days, survives on snacks
Happy Reunion: Kidnapped kids taken to Cuba back with grandparents
Faces of Meth: Before and After pictures
Sex tape scandal: Miss Delaware Teen USA resigns
Neigh! Video shows man brutalizing, having sex with horse
Sex blog: Tampa area school CFO busted over her dirty sex porn blog *warning, GRAPHIC*
Nasty Nasty Dining: 10 of the nastiest restaurants in Tampa Bay in 2012
APP-tastic: Download the 10 News app for your iPad
Yowtch! Teen accidentally shoots off his penis, testicle
Bikini Photos: 2012 Hooters International Swimsuit Pageant
Money Mondays: How you can search for unclaimed cash
Sex Offender Mugshots: Look up Florida Sex Offenders here
Bikinis, mud, trucks: The Redneck Yacht Club
Naughty Schoolgirls: Naughty schoolgirl night at Tampa club pictures
Nip/tuck: Hooters tries surviving middle age with a makeover
Outrageous mug shot galleries...
Strange: Some of the most unusual mug shots we've seen
Notorious Women: Bad girls behind bars
Teachers: Teacher arrest mugshots
Celebrities: The rich and famous have their own booking photos
Jaw droppers: Open mouth mug shots
Laughers: What's so funny mug shots
Prostitutes: Prostitute mug shots
Athletes: Professional athlete mug shots
Porn arrests: Child porn arrest mug shots
Local Mugs: Hillsborough County Mug shots
More unusual mug shots and galleries: 10 News slideshows and galleries