Florida Man Under Investigation for Jumping on Manatees

Written by Stephen Messenger

The basic rules to follow when leaping into a body of water are neither long nor complicated: only jump from a survivable height, don’t try to inhale once you’re under the surface, and always be sure your landing spot is free of rocks, small children, and federally protected marine life.

Officials from the state’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are currently investigating a bizarre and blatant case of animal cruelty after video came to light of a man gleefully jumping on two manatees in a canal in Cocoa Beach, Florida. While the motive for such behavior is unclear, one can only assume it was part of a successful bid to be a jerk.


“It’s sad,” says Fish and Wildlife Officer Lenny Salberg. “Here you have a manatee just swimming down a canal not hurting anyone. To actually go out of your way to harm them, what would make you want to do that?”

According to Salberg, the men in the video, including the cameraman who can be heard taking joy in the display of idiocy, will likely face manatee harassment charges which could result in 60 days jail sentence and include a fine of $500.

The Orlando Sentinel has called this filmed aggression “the most egregious of three acts of manatee abuse reported across the state in the past year”. Other recent incidents in Florida include a man letting his kids sit on a manatee calf, and also a woman who thought it would be a good idea to ride one like a pool raft.

Florida manatees are currently listed as endangered species, with roughly 2,500 individuals remaining. Their biggest threats, come from human activity — and not just those going out of their way to be jerks. Threats from climate change, lethal algae blooms, and motorboat accidents continue to put these animals in peril.

This post was originally published by TreeHugger.


Photo: flickker photos/flickr


Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing

Marilyn Ashman
Marilyn A4 years ago

To bad it wasn't mistaken for a Shark , therefore pulling his Ass back into the water to EAT HIM . Sick Bastard !!! .

Jacqueline Lavanchy

One learns best by experience... If that seems fun to him, let's do him a favor : a nice jump on his back !

Claudia Cavallo
Claudia Cavallo4 years ago

Saying that the man and his friend are jerks is beeing to kind

Tania S.
Tania S4 years ago

This is uncalled for what an idiot.

Richard Lares
Richard Lares4 years ago

Light in the fine area by far, mom had a baby you know, so double it all for a start.

Grace Adams
Grace Adams4 years ago

Manatees are sort of homely--almost cute that way. Maybe they look a bit like those big floor pillow/stuffed plush animal combinations some people really go for.

Katherine Wright
Katherine Wright4 years ago

You can't fix stupid......but you can give them a stiffer sentence than what this a$$hole got.

Jez wildmoon
jayne TURNER4 years ago

jump on him and hold his head under... volunteers?!

Amy Liebetreu
Amy L4 years ago

What an idiot - he should be fined for that kind of behavior.