Woman spotted riding manatees turns herself in - FOX 35 News Orlando

Woman spotted riding manatees turns herself in

Posted: Updated:
Photo courtesy PCSO. Photo courtesy PCSO.
Photo courtesy PCSO. Photo courtesy PCSO.
Photo courtesy PCSO. Photo courtesy PCSO.
ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) -

UPDATE: The woman who was photographed riding manatees over the weekend turned herself in.

According to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, 52-year-old Ana Gloria Garcia Gutierrez called the sheriff's communication's center around 4 p.m.

Deputies then met with her to question her. She told them she was new to the area and didn't realize it was against the law to touch the manatees, the sheriff's office said.

She was not arrested; charges are being forwarded to the state attorney's office for possible prosecution.

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Manatees are known as slow, gentle giants of the sea -- not exactly rodeo material. But that didn't stop one beachgoer from climbing on one recently.  Now, deputies in Pinellas County are hoping you can identify the woman, who was caught in photos.

It was around 1 p.m. Sunday when deputies were called to Fort Desoto Park due to reports of a woman "riding" a manatee in the waterway just north of the Gulf Pier. But by the time they had arrived, the would-be cowgirl had skedaddled.

Witnesses were able give deputies a description, including the attached photos, of the suspect and where she was last seen.

The Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act makes it a second-degree misdemeanor to "annoy, molest, harass, or disturb or attempt to molest, harass, or disturb" a manatee.

Investigators don't believe any manatees were hurt.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Deputy Charlie Tita of the Environmental Lands and Marine Enforcement Unit at 727-582-6200.

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