Man Records Jet Skier Riding Over Herd of Manatees in Florida
Some Florida beachgoers were seen on video petting manatees, which is against the law in the state.
The video was shot by a boat captain who was near the scene off Palm Beach, Florida. People can be heard telling the people in the water not to touch the giant sea animals.
One man drove over the herd as the manatees began thrashing in the water.
“It was just pure disrespect. He knew what he was doing. He knew they were there. People told him not to drive over there,” boat captain Sergio Frágüela tells Inside Edition.
Communication director at Zoo Miami, Ron Magill, says manatees can hurt you if they are frightened.
“They’re massive animals and they can grow to be over a thousand pounds. And in their anxiety and in their panic to get away from you they can plunge right through you,” Magill says.
Manatees are known as gentle giants, often referred to as sea cows. Some tourists can’t seem to resist trying to touch them.
“They are basically like a big lumbering animal that feeds on the seagrass much like a cow would if they could walk under water,” Magill says.
In a recent video of swimmers petting manatees in Clearwater, Florida, one manatee started attacking.
Experts say the manatees were angry because it is mating season, the same reason sea lions have been getting aggressive on beaches in California.
Experts recommend keeping your distance from all sea creatures.
If you are found guilty in Florida of harassing manatees, you could face a possible fine of $500 and up to 60 days in jail.
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