COCOA BEACH, Fla — Two men in Florida learned the hard way that messing with endangered species is not cool.
A U.S. Magistrate fined Taylor Blake Martin, 22, of Alabama and Seth Andrew Stephenson, 22, of Florida around $3,000 for harassing an endangered species after they posted a video online of them “cannonballing” manatees.
The two men were also sentenced to two years of probation, the Naples News reported.
The men pleaded guilty to harassment in March after a video posted on Facebook shows them luring two manatees to a dock and jumping onto an adult male and calf as the animals tried to swim away.
A U.S. Fish and Wildlife spokesmen condemned their actions.
“There’s absolutely no excuse for this type or reckless behavior with an y wildlife species, but particularly those that are endangered,” Spokesman Ken Warren told Naples News.
Manatees, found in marine areas around Florida and the Gulf Coast, are protected under the Endangered Species Act.