COPY-Officials investigate torture of manta ray shown in YouTube video - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

COPY-Officials investigate torture of manta ray shown in YouTube video

Associated Press - June 20, 2007 6:54 AM ET

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Florida wildlife officials are investigating the torture of a state-protected manta ray in a video posted on YouTube, the popular online video display site.

A fish and wildlife officer saw the video showing a group of men pulling a spotted eagle ray on the shores of Peanut Island in Riviera Beach. The 90-second video also shows the men cutting off its tail.

It's unknown what happened to the aquatic animal. No carcass has been found.

Killing a protected species is punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.

The video has been removed from YouTube. Officials ask that anyone with information to call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 888-404-3922.

Spotted eagle rays can weigh up to 500 pounds and grow up to 17 feet long.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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