A 53-year-old Florida woman was photographed riding a manatee at Fort De Soto Park back in September. That photo sparked an investigation that led to her arrest. The Manatee Sanctuary Act marks manatees as a protected species. The authorities called a press conference asking for help identifying the woman.
She called the police and admitted to touching the animal. She said she was new to the area and didn't know it was illegal to touch a manatee. They replied that they would forward the charges to the prosecutors. They told her it might not be an arrestable offense, because there was no deputy present at the time.
However, the State Attorney's Office reviewed the case and issued an arrest warrant. She now faces a $500 fine and up to six months in jail.