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Fla. Man Charged With Harassing Manatee

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File photo of a pair of manatee. (credit: DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of a pair of manatee. (credit: DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

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FORT PIERCE, Fla. (AP) — A central Florida man has been charged after authorities say he posted pictures of himself playing with a manatee calf.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission claims that 21-year-old Ryan William Waterman violated the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act. The law makes it illegal to injure, harm, harass, capture or attempt to capture a Florida manatee.

FWC investigators received a tip regarding pictures that Waterman had posted on Facebook. The pictures show Waterman and two young children petting a manatee calf last month in St. Lucie County. They also show Waterman lifting the calf partially out of the water. One image even shows a child sitting on top of the manatee.

Waterman was arrested Sunday and later released on $2,500. Jail records didn’t list an attorney.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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