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Florida Woman Arrested for Riding a Manatee

By Jack Phillips
Epoch Times Staff
Created: November 25, 2012 Last Updated: November 25, 2012
Related articles: United States » South
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A Florida woman was arrested Saturday after it was discovered that she was riding a manatee, which is in violation of state laws.

Ana Gloria Garcia Gutierrez of St. Petersburg was arrested after violating the state’s Manatee Sanctuary Act, authorities told the Tampa Bay Times. She originally came forward in October to admit that she was the one seen in THE photos of a woman riding a manatee, a species classified as endangered by the federal government.

“Go ride a Jet Ski,” said Sheriff Bob Gualtieri of Pinellas County last month, according to the newspaper. “Don’t use animals.”

Gutierrez was arrested and then released Saturday after posting a $1,500 bail.

Authorities said that the manatee was likely not physically hurt, according to the paper.

According to Florida’s ABC Action News, Gutierrez said that she was unaware that it was illegal to touch a manatee under Florida state law.

Touching a manatee is a second-degree felony in Florida, punishable with a $500 fine and up to 60 days in the county jail, according to ABC Action News.

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