A Maryland man seen tackling a federally protected pelican on video is now wanted by Florida authorities on animal cruelty charges.

News outlets report the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission investigated the video of 21-year-old William Hunter Hardesty trying to capture a brown pelican at the Key West Historic Seaport. The video was taken March 5 and posted on his Facebook page March 8.

Monroe County State Attorney Dennis Ward told The Miami Herald the charges amount to five misdemeanors. Ward isn’t sure whether police know where Hardesty is.

Reports didn’t include comment from Hardesty.

Source: Fox News National

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is working to determine what charges might be appropriate to bring against a Maryland man who was videotaped tackling a federally protected pelican.

The Baltimore Sun reports Hunter Hardesty, of Davidsonville, posted the video of the apparent attack online on Thursday. Commission officer and spokesman Bobby Dube says Hardesty enticed the pelican and then jumped on it. He says authorities are considering possible animal cruelty charges.

The video shows Hardesty learning over the water near the edge of a harbor that’s geotagged to the Florida Keys. It shows him then jumping off the harbor and landing on top of the pelican, launching a scuffle punctuated by the laughter of onlookers.

The bird then slapped Hardesty across the face with its beak and fled.


Information from: The Baltimore Sun, http://www.baltimoresun.com

Source: Fox News National

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