Police hunt woman after she rides manatee

The woman catches a ride on a manatee. (Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office/Courtesy)

By Soumya Karlamangla:

Swimming with the dolphins is OK, but riding a manatee? Not so much.

A Florida woman turned herself in Tuesday after police began investigating reports and photos they received of a woman illegally riding a manatee in Fort DeSoto Park in Pinellas County, Fla.

Manatees are mammals that are frequently a part of the lore of sea; sailors have been known to mistake these sea cows for mermaids. And in the state of Florida, it is a second-degree misdemeanor to intentionally “molest, harass, or disturb” a manatee because they’re an endangered species, according to Time.com. The woman, later identified as Ana Gloria Garcia Gutierrez, 52, apparently didn’t realize that what she was doing probably fell into that category.

After the Pinella’s County Sheriff’s Office put out wanted notices for the woman in the picture, Gutierrez turned herself in to the police and explained that she was new to the area, so didn’t know hitching a ride on a manatee wasn’t allowed. She has not been arrested or charged.

Categories: General
Vlae Kershner

5 Responses

  1. Jocelyne Hudson-Brown says:

    Only an idiot would interfere with wildlife, much less climb on its back. And you wonder people why so many folks find themselves on the business end of an animals disposition.

  2. John Woolley says:

    Manatee Molestation — Harmless Recreation, or an Epidemic of Shame? Next on Geraldo.

  3. Rachel says:


    Because fat jokes are so funny. :-/

  4. mike s says:

    Wouldn’t want that on my record :Molesting a manatee.

  5. Juggle says:

    I looked at the picture and thought it was two manatees mating!