Woman who rode manatee arrested


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The Independent Online

Any lingering ill effects on the victim have long passed - but after a two month search, police have finally located the perpetrator. Ana Gloria Garcia Gutierrez, 53, the woman who illegally clambered on to and rode a manatee, was arrested Saturday. She faces a maximum of six months in jail and a fine of $500.

The endangered manatee is a sea mammal known for its docility - and on October 2nd Gutierrez was papped hitching a ride on one unsuspecting beast at Florida's Manatee sanctuary.

Police released a photograph of Gutierrez in the act and asked for help in tracking her down, a search that finally lead them to the Sears where Gutierrez works.

The Florida woman admitted touching the manatee - but insists she was not aware that to do so was illegal. In full, the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act states: "It is unlawful 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."

Gutierrez has posted $1,500 bail and presumably sworn off manatee-bothering for life.