Man who tackled Pelican in Florida Keys arrested on animal cruelty charges

Brown pelicans are seen on Queen Bess Island

A man who was videotaped tackling a federally protected pelican in the Florida Keys has been arrested in Maryland.

Hardesty allegedly continued to post on social media about the run in with the pelican, according to the Sun.

State police arrested Hardesty Friday morning in Ocean City on a warrant from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission that charges him with animal cruelty, The Sun reported.

Hardesty allegedly posted the video last week to his Facebook profile.

A video of the Florida incident shows a man apparently offering a fish to a pelican.

Maryland State Police reportedly received tips that a man staying in Ocean City, Maryland, seemed to be the man in the viral video.

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He then emerges from the water with two hands around the bird, which snapped at Hardesty's face with its bill before flying away. He is now being held in the Worcester County Detention Center, awaiting extradition to Florida.

Florida investigators were not amused, and the FWC issued a 10-page warrant for his arrest on charges of animal cruelty to a migratory bird and intentionally feeding a pelican.

Troopers apprehended the suspect, William Hunter Hardesty, 31, at an Ocean City, Md., hotel, a news release from the Maryland State Police said.

The brown pelican species in the video is protected under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Florida state law, which prohibit people from feeding or molesting the bird, according to Florida wildlife commission spokesman Officer Bobby Dube.

Hardesty was taken into custody without incident.

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