Men Sentenced For Luring, Jumping On Manatees

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Two men have been sentenced over an online video that shows one man jumping on two manatees.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Orlando reports that 22-year-old Taylor Blake Martin was ordered Wednesday to pay a $3,000 fine, while 22-year-old Seth Andrew Stephenson must pay $2,000. Both men must serve 175 hours of community service. The men pleaded guilty in March to taking or harassing an endangered species.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials began investigating last year after the video was posted on Facebook. The video shows one man, identified by prosecutors as Stephenson, luring two manatees to a dock on a Cocoa Beach canal with a water hose, and another man, identified as Martin, jumping off the dock, “cannonballing” an adult manatee and a calf.

Manatees are protected by both state and federal laws.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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