Woman Rides Manatee, Gets Arrested in Florida

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A Florida woman was caught on camera riding a manatee and was arrested Saturday on a charge of violating the Sunshine State’s Manatee Sanctuary Act.

Ana Gloria Garcia Gutierrez, 53, mounted the endangered marine mammal September 30.

Woman Rides Manatee
Cute Manatee

She turned herself in to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office in Florida shortly after authorities released pictures of her atop the creature, according to reports.

“[Gutierrez explained] she is new to the area and did not realize it was against the law to touch or harass manatees,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

An arrest warrant was issued for Gutierrez Saturday. She was taken into custody while working at Sears in St. Petersburg, according to law enforcement officials.

Witnesses provided deputies with photos of Gutierrez on her joyride and a description, but they were unable to locate her until she turned herself in.

FYI, the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act states:

“It is unlawful for any person at any time, by any means, or in any manner intentionally or negligently to annoy, molest, harass, or disturb or attempt to molest, harass, or disturb any Manatee.”

No manatees were injured by Gutierrez, at least.