Woman Riding Manatee Turns Herself In for Violating Florida State Law [Photo]

There's a lot things to do in Florida, but wild manatee riding isn't one of them.

Ana Gloria Garcia Gutierrez found out the hard way after she was caught riding one of the endangered aquatic mammals in Fort De Soto Park in Pinellas, Florida.

The Tampa Bay Times reported on Wednesday that Gutierrez, 52, turned herself in to the Pinellas County Sherriff's Office and said that she didn't know manatee riding was against the law. She found out that it's a second-degree misdemeanor in the state of Florida.

The incident occurred over the weekend when witnesses photographed Gutierrez's sea cow excursion on Sunday near Gulf Pier. Those that saw what had happened told authorities and gave her description.

"It's a wild animal. It's not something to be ridden," Susan Butler, a manatee expert with the U.S. Geological Survey in Gainesville, reported to the Times. "I can't say that as a biologist I would ever, ever condone that, or say that (the manatee) wanted them to do that."

There were no arrests or charges brought up against Gutierrez, but the case has been sent to the Florida state attorney's office. The possible penalty that Gutierrez may face is a fine of $500 and up to 60 days in jail.

"Go ride a Jet Ski. Don't use animals," said Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri at a press conference. "She needs to be held accountable for her actions."

Under Florida state law, the Manatee Sanctuary Acts 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 manatee involved is not believed to be injured, according to authorities.

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