Florida Man Arrested for Harassing Baby Manatee

Ryan William Waterman claims he had no idea he was doing something wrong

By Laura Sinpetru on February 21st, 2013 08:18 GMT

Earlier this week, Ryan William Waterman was taken into police custody on account of his being found guilty of harassing a baby manatee.

Information made available to the public thus far says that this Florida man did in fact swim around with a manatee calf in Taylor Creek, and even allowed one of his daughters to sit on the animal.

At that time, Ryan William Waterman had no idea that what he was doing was wrong, given the fact that the state of Florida considers manatees to be an endangered species and therefore frowns upon such practices of harassing and disturbing them.

Therefore, the man even went as far as to take some pictures of himself and the baby manatee, and posted them on Facebook.

“I never heard that it was wrong, I never thought it would be wrong,” Ryan William Waterman later told members of the press.

According to Gawker, soon after these pictures had been posted on Facebook, one of this Florida man's friends contacted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, who did not delay in getting Ryan arrested.

“An interaction that may seem harmless and innocent may ultimately have serious consequences for manatees and other wildlife,” the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission offered as an explanation for this decision.

The same source informs us that, after posting a $2,500 bond (roughly €1,867), Ryan William Waterman was allowed to leave St. Lucie County Jail.

Needless to say, it is quite likely that, from this moment on, this Florida man will do his best to keep away from manatees.

It is to be expected that a trial will soon follow. Should Ryan be found guilty, he could be made to pay a $500 (about €373) fine and even spend up to six months in jail.

Interestingly enough, this incident is not the first of its kind. Thus, it was back in October 2012 when a woman named Ana Gutierrez made headlines following her deciding to ride a manatee and getting arrested for it.
Man faces jail time after being found guilty of harassing a manatee
   Man faces jail time after being found guilty of harassing a manatee
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