Video of man jumping on manatee investigated
Wildlife officials are investigating an online video that shows a man doing a cannonball onto two manatees.
The video shows a man jumping on top of what appears to be a manatee and a young calf swimming near a dock in a residential area. A voice is heard saying, "Should I do it? Let's do it. Jump, jump, jump."
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the video was shot more than a year and a half ago. The agency is leading a joint investigation with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and is looking into possible violations of the Endangered Species Act.
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.
Manatees are protected by both state and federal laws.
"We will do everything we can to protect our endangered species, and we encourage people to respect these gentle giants," said Tom MacKenzie, a spokesman for the federal wildlife service.