Man jumps on manatees video: YouTube, Facebook video posting investigated by wildlife officials
12:57 PM, May 22, 2013
9:55 AM, May 23, 2013
BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -
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An investigation is underway after video was posted online of a man jumping onto two manatees.
Both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are investigating the video posted on Facebook and YouTube that shows a person doing a cannonball on top of what appears to be a manatee and a young calf swimming near a dock.
A voice is heard saying, "Should I do it? Let's do it. Jump, jump, jump."
The actions taken in the video, according to investigators, are possible violations of the Endangered Species Act.
The video, according to the internet posting, was taken in Brevard County. Investigators say that evidence obtained during the investigation may be forwarded to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida for possible prosecution.
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the video was shot more than a year and a half ago.
Manatees are protected under the federal Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, as well as The Florida Marine Sanctuary Act.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says that possible violations under the federal Endangered Species Act (which has a five year statute of limitations) could include "to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct."
Anyone who violates the act's provision against harassing, harming, pursuing, hunting or killing a protected species can face up to $100,000 in fines, up to a year in prison, or both.