Man investigated for harassing manatees after posting viral video

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA/CNN) – A Florida man posted a video on Facebook last weekend and now he is being investigated by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Scott McCormick said he was trying to get water out of his boat on the St. Johns River in Volusia County. The Facebook video shows him hurling a liquid from a red bucket and when it hits the river, the sea cows begin to splash around.


WKMG in Orlando reported that the video was shared about 35,000 times and was flooded with thousands of comments. It appears the video has since been removed.

FWC spokesman Greg Workman told WKMG that the agency is investigating the man for harassing the manatees. Workman said it appears the manatees were mating at the time, which could be why there was likely more than one.

Manatees became a federally protected endangered animal in 1966.

It’s a second-degree misdemeanor to harass manatees in Florida, and McCormick could face federal charges since they’re on the endangered list.

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