Manatees are for looking, not touching. Even people who lack common sense should have learned that after Ana Gloria Garcia Gutierrez turned herself in for attempting to ride a manatee in the Tampa Bay area.
Not everyone got the message. Ryan William Waterman, a 21-year-old Fort Pierce man, has been arrested after posting online pictures of his two young children riding a manatee calf.
During a trip to Taylor Creek, Waterman and his two daughters encountered the manatee calf. Waterman then posted pictures of the manatee harassment on Facebook.
In one photo, one of his young daughters is straddling the baby manatee while the other touches it. In another, Waterman himself is shown lifting the manatee out of the water.
Apparently someone who saw the pictures contacted authorities. According to the Palm Beach Post, Waterman has now been arrested for violating the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.