DAVIDSONVILLE, Md. (AP) — 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, Maryland, 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 leaning 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.