A Florida fisherman learned a valuable lesson last week: Don’t mess with the manatee.
Louis Tornas Perez, 49, was fishing in Long Key near the 55 mile mark when he came across a group of 16 manatees that were mating. However, instead of leaving them alone as required by state law, Tornas Perez reportedly splashed water on them. , according to the Miami Herald.
Tornas Perez was arrested and charged with a second degree offense. He was incarcerated in the plantation key prison. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission said Tornas Perez was spotted as a result of “slapping in the water,” which is illegal.
It is forbidden by state law to poke, nudge, chase, or feed manatees, including giving them fresh water. Excessive noise or splashing water is also prohibited and is considered an offense.