Manatee Rider Arrested, Faces Jail Time

Possible six months in prison

Ryan O'Hanlon

We finally have an answer to the age-old (read: two-month-old) question, “What does it cost to ride a manatee?” And it’s a $500 fine or up to six months in prison.

Ana Gloria Garcia Gutierrez, the 53-year-old Florida woman who was photographed on the back of a manatee in late September, was arrested on a warrant issued by the State Attorney’s Office on Saturday. Last month, Gutierrez turned herself in to authorities but was not arrested as the Pinellas County Sherriff’s Office passed her case on to the State Attorney’s Office.

After reviewing the case, the State Attorney’s Office determined that Gutierrez violated the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act, which makes it illegal “for any person at any time, by any means, or in any manner intentionally or negligently to annoy, molest, harass, or disturb or attempt to molest, harass, or disturb any Manatee.” She was charged with a second-degree-misdemeanor and released on $1,500 bail.

Via Sun Sentinel