Marine Mammals Everywhere Can Rest Easy — The Manatee Rodeo Rider Has Finally Been Arrested

The long arm of Floridian law has finally caught up with the mysterious aquatic rodeo rider who saddled up a manatee back in October and rode recklessly over the waves like a sea-faring Calamity Jane angling to do battle with King Triton's army of seahorses. Or like a person who has owned far too many Lisa Frank ocean galaxy posters. Or like a person who doesn't respect the personal space of slow-moving wild animals.

After almost two months of trying to identify a woman who was photographed riding a manatee, deputies from the Pinellas County Sheriff's office finally arrested Gloria Garcia Gutierrez on a warrant for violating the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act. Florida has deemed that it is illegal to "annoy, molest, harass, or disturb" manatees, which are protected as an endangered species from marine mammal sycophants hoping to somehow tap into the mysticism of the open ocean by grinding up on an unsuspecting manatee. Gutierrez has maintained that she's new to the area and didn't know that it was against the rules to grope endangered marine mammals, and it's not clear what sort of penalty she'll face for the tactile indiscretion.

Florida woman arrested for riding an endangered manatee [Reuters]

Image via the Pinellas County Sheriff Department