SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Authorities in Puerto Rico are investigating four people recently videotaped pursuing a humpback whale and its calf with personal watercrafts.
Natural Resources Secretary Carmen Guerrero said Wednesday that U.S. and local officials have so far interviewed one of four people who appear to be yelling and chasing after the whales in a video made off the island’s northwest coast.
Government biologist Griselle Rodriguez says the whales’ behavior changed during the pursuit.
Local laws say endangered humpback whales can be observed from no closer than 100 meters (328 feet), and watercraft are supposed to stay even farther away if a calf is present. Harassment charges can bring jail time or a $25,000 penalty or both.
Humpback whales can be seen off Puerto Rico’s northwest coast from January to April.