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Man charged with harassing manatee

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Posted: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 8:41 am | Updated: 10:21 am, Fri Oct 11, 2013.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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