| Animals |

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, FWC Are Going After Manatee Riders

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of South Florida and help keep the future of New Times free.

Depending on where you come down on the whole animal-rights thing, you probably watched the video of Florida's finest d-bags jumping onto some innocent manatees with something between shock and rage. This week we posted the vid, some dumpster-grade Jackassery courtesy of two Cocoa Beach brainiacs. Thankfully, the federales have shown up to exert some big government-style enforcement. Which is great and all, but FLORIDA, YOU SHOULD ALREADY KNOW NOT TO RIDE THE POOR MANATEES.

See also: - Florida Men Cannonball Onto Manatees, Post It On YouTube - Florida Woman Illegally Rides Manatee Like a Horse in Siesta Key Waters

In a press release shot out Wednesday, the government agencies announced they were going to start their gumshoe work on the YouTube video. They also indicated the timing of the footage may complicate a state prosecution.

"The statute of limitations for the state is one year, which may bar state prosecution, as this event appears to have occurred over a year and a half ago," the press release reads. "Possible violations under the federal Endangered Species Act (which has a five year statute of limitations) could include 'take.' The act defines 'take' to mean 'to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct.'"

But the state might as well open up a new bureau dedicated solely to these kinds of investigations. The Wednesday release did not mention this week's SECOND viral manatee molestation video.

That clip, caught by WFLA from the skies over Fiesta Key, shows a woman trying to ride off into the sunset on the adorkably cute marine mammal. Which reminds us, FLORIDA, YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO RIDE THE MANATEES.

In yesterday's release, the government put the possible penalties out there in tough talk: "Any person who knowingly violates the take prohibition may be subject to criminal penalties of up to $100,000, or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both."

The fact that PEOPLE SHOULD NOT RIDE THE MANATEES isn't just about being a buzzkill; the endangered species is facing record-setting deaths, with 409 dying in the first three months of 2013 alone. Cold weather, poisonous algae, and terrible, terrible humans are responsible.

Follow Kyle on Twitter @kyletalking. For tips, send an e-mail.

Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, 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 South Florida with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.