WEIRD NEWS
06/19/2014 01:57 pm ET

Manatee Cannonballers Avoid Jail Time (VIDEO)

Two men who recorded themselves jumping off a Florida dock onto a manatee and its baby received a slap on the wrist and avoided federal prison.

On Wednesday, a federal judge sentenced Taylor Martin and Seth Stephenson, both 22, to probation and community service, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

The bros were hunted down by authorities after they posted their video to YouTube in March 2012. It showed them using a hose with fresh water to lure the manatees to the dock, and then "cannonballing" off the dock onto the harmless mammals.

The original video has since been removed (though portions are in the video above) but the New York Daily News reports that the video's description read like this:

"Hahaha…in my debue [sic] as tayla the manatee slaya…im f------ ready to cannonball on every manatee living yewwww."

U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials got wind of the video last year, and paved the way for the suspects' arrest. They were slapped with federal misdemeanor endangered species charges earlier this year. They could have spent up to a year in federal prison. Instead, they'll serve two years of probation and community service, a punishment their lawyers agreed with.

Additionally, Martin will pay a $3,000 fine and Stephenson will pay $2,000. Both were ordered to issue an apology on Facebook.

The manatees weren't injured, which is likely the reason why the U.S. Magistrate Judge didn't "put them in jail," said Andrew Aloise, the agent in charge of the case for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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