Woman Photographed Riding Manatees Turns Herself in
A woman sought by Pinellas sheriff’s deputies for riding a manatee at Fort DeSoto Park during the weekend has turned herself in.
Deputies say Ana Gloria Garcia Gutierrez, 52, admitted to the offense, telling deputies she is new to the area and did not realize it was against the law to touch or harass manatees.
According to deputies, Gutierrez violated the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act, which 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.”
The violation is a second degree misdemeanor.
A photographer happened to see the incident and caught the images on his camera.
“Well, you’re thinking yeah these could be useful to someone. It was astonishing that she was actually doing it. I couldn’t believe that someone would be doing that,” said Steve Leach.