UPDATE: Manatee rider Ana Gloria Garcia Gutierrez, 52, has turned herself in to police, reports the Tampa Bay Times. She told cops she didn’t know manatee-riding was illegal.
WTSP reports that a woman photographed riding a manatee at Fort DeSoto Park in Tierra Verde, Florida, is now wanted by police.
While it may seem like a bit of a joke to most people, even disturbing a manatee — or so-called sea cow — in Florida is a second degree misdemeanor. Why? Wild manatee numbers are diminishing, and as such the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act has imposed strict regulations on protections for them in order to keep their numbers from dropping any further.
Anyone who has any information on this sea cow bandit is encouraged to contact authorities immediately to help them locate and prosecute her.
No manatees appear to have been hurt during this joyride.