Facebook pictures of man, children playing with manatee calf lead to arrest
By The Associated Press
FORT PIERCE, Florida (AP) - A Florida man has been charged after authorities say he posted pictures of himself playing with a manatee calf and of a child sitting on it.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission claims that Ryan William Waterman, 21, violated the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act. The law makes it illegal to injure, harm, harass, capture or attempt to capture a Florida manatee.
FWC investigators received a tip about pictures that Waterman had posted on Facebook. The pictures show Waterman and two young children petting a manatee calf last month in St. Lucie County. They also show Waterman lifting the calf partially out of the water.
One image even shows a child sitting on top of the manatee calf.
Waterman was arrested Sunday and later released on $2,500. Jail records didn't list an attorney.