A Florida woman is trying to bring awareness to the plight of manatees after she filmed swimmers apparently interfering with one of the animals.
Identified only as Jenny RG, the woman reported the incident to law enforcement officials on June 7 in Jupiter, Florida, when she spotted the swimmers harassing the endangered animal (video below).
“They are literally on top of the manatees,” she said, “touching them, poking them, swimming right on top of them, grabbing them, petting them, whatever they wanted to do.”
Jenny decided to take matters into her own hands by filming the incident as it happened, which drew the ire of one of the women being filmed.
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Eyewitness Francis Curran was also at the scene.
“(The woman being filmed) just went nuts and you could hear her from the parking lot,” said Curran. “She was threatening what she’s going to do, so on and so forth.”
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The video lasts around six minutes. Jenny posted the video on Facebook following the incident.
“I just feel like they should be fined and if they’re going to come here and act ignorant in our state then why not fine them and get some money to go towards manatee protection or what have you,” Jenny said.
In Florida, the manatee is a protected species, reports WPBF.
After reviewing the video, Florida Fish and Wildlife could not confirm whether or not the creature in the video was a manatee.
According to SaveTheManatee.org, human interference is the primary threat manatees face regularly.
Photo Credit: YouTube