DAVIDSONVILLE, Md. — 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 that Hunter Hardesty, of Davidsonville, posted a 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 now considering possible animal cruelty charges.
The video shows Hardesty leaning over the water near the edge of a harbour that’s geotagged to the Florida Keys. It then shows him jumping into the harbour and landing on top of the pelican, launching a scuffle punctuated by the laughter of onlookers.
The bird then slaps Hardesty across the face with its beak and flees.