On September 22, there have been many Florida Man stories involving animals. And this time, I got something more for you.
For animal lovers, these stories could make you laugh and get angry at the same time. That is normal since we’re talking about Florida Man here.
Anyway, these two stories involve two different kinds of animals: manatees and lizards. One is using animals to mock the police and the other one is using them to get money.
Florida Man September 22 – swimming with manatees
If you didn’t know already, manatees are protected by the law. You can’t disturb their lives, let alone harassing them in their habitat. Well, that was exactly what James Roy Massengale JR. was doing. The 47-year-old man was seen jumping in an Islamorada creek to harass the manatees there.
More and more people were witnessing the bizarre scene, until they warned Massengale that it is illegal to disturb and harass the manatees. But instead of stopping what he’s doing, Massengale replied with, “I’m riding it!”
According to the report, Massengale did more than just swimming with the manatees. He also rode them on the water. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conversation officials have warned him several times, but Massengale replied to the warnings with a mock “take me to jail.”
Massengale was later arrested and got a $25,000 bond, mainly for being uncooperative.
September 22 – smuggling lizards
This story comes from Tampa, Florida. A Florida Man got arrested and sentenced to 90 days of home detention and 288 hours of community service for smuggling live water monitor lizards. The punishment was a bit light, if I do say so.
Apparently, the police found live water monitor lizards stuffed into socks and concealed inside electronics. The lizards came from the Philippines and were about to be sold in the US.
The Florida Man, known as Akbar Akram, 44, was sentenced in Tampa federal court. He pleaded guilty to one count of wildlife trafficking, violating the Lacey Act and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Special Treaty.
Akram also knew that buying these lizards in the Philippines is also against the law. And during the trial, he has also admitted that some lizards have been sold to some customers in Colorado, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.
He has sold more than 20 monitor lizards in 2016 and has avoided customs authorities by putting the lizards in socks. These socks are closed with tape and hidden inside electronics and shipped under a false label — not exactly the cleanest way to smuggle animals.
It seems like September 22 has many stories where animals do get hurt. We can’t let these men meet with each other, or more animals will get hurt. Who knows what new stories will be born on September 22 with Florida Man in it.