Ana Guiterrez, Fla. Woman Photographed Riding A Manatee, Turns Herself In To Authorities, Police Say

By: CBS News, Posted by Chelsey Moran
By: CBS News, Posted by Chelsey Moran

(CBS) ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- A woman turned herself in to authorities Tuesday after she was captured in a photograph taking an apparent joyride on a manatee at a Florida park, CBS affiliate WKMG reports.

Officials said 52-year-old Ana Gutierrez contacted the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office and admitted to riding the manatee at Fort De Soto Park.

Deputies were called to the park Sunday afternoon when they received reports of a woman apparently riding a manatee, the Orlando Sentinel reported. Authorities weren't able to find the woman when they arrived at the area, but witnesses described to them what happened and took pictures of the incident.

The manatee is classified as an endangered species in Florida. The Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act makes it a second-degree misdemeanor to intentionally "molest, harass, or disturb" any manatee, according to the Sentinel.

Gutierrez told deputies she's new to the area and didn't realize it was against the law to touch or harass manatees. The state attorney's office will determine if Gutierrez will face charges in the incident.

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