A Florida man who posted photos of himself that the Florida Fish and Wildlife consider harassment of a manatee, has been arrested on Tuesday.
Ryan Waterman, 21, of Ft. Pierce smiled for the camera as he lifted a manatee calf out of the water and posed for a photo. Later he posted the photo on Facebook along with several more, including one showing a small child sitting on the calf, which resulted in him getting arrested.
"This was a young manatee which was likely still dependent on its mother for food and protection," FWC manatee biologist Dr. Thomas Reinert said.
After the Florida Fish and Wildlife officials received a tip about the photos posted on Facebook, Waterman was arrested based on the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act. If convicted, Waterman could face a $500 fine and a maximum of 60 days in jail.
"I'm really sorry for what I done. And I just tried having a good time with my daughters and I really would never try to harm something like that, you know," Waterman told WPEC.
Waterman told the station that although he's lived in Florida for his entire life, he wasn't aware that it was against the law to touch a manatee. He said he's done it before, reports CBS News.
In 2013, almost 100 manatees, which are also known as sea cows have been found dead, with 11 of the deaths caused by interactions with human.