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Riding A Manatee Is Illegal In Florida, Learns One 52-Year-Old Woman

She could serve 60 days in jail for the second-degree misdemeanor.

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52-year-old Ana Gloria Garcia Gutierrez was seen riding a manatee at Florida's Fort De Soto Park on Sunday afternoon, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

What Gutierrez apparently didn't know is that riding a manatee is illegal — a second-degree misdemeanor, according to the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Acts:

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.

Gutierrez turned herself in to police Tuesday. She wasn't arrested, but she faces charges with penalties of up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.

"Go ride a Jet Ski," Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said at a press conference. "Don't use animals."


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