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Florida Man Charged With Harassing Manatee

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FORT PIERCE (CBSMiami/AP) — Admiring Florida manatees is a favorite pastime of many folks but if you get too close, you could end up behind bars.

That’s what happened to a central Florida man who was charged after authorities say he posted pictures of himself laying with a manatee calf.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission claims that 21-year-old Ryan William Waterman violated the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act. The law makes it illegal to injure, harm, harass, capture or attempt to capture a Florida manatee.

FWC investigators received a tip regarding pictures that Waterman had posted on Facebook. The pictures show Waterman and two young children petting a manatee calf last month in St. Lucie County. They also show Waterman lifting the calf partially out of the water. One image even shows a child sitting on top of the manatee.

Waterman was arrested Sunday and later released on $2,500.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

 

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