The man seen on video pouncing on a pelican is now in a Keys jail

Man posts Facebook video of himself attacking pelican in Key West FL

A Maryland man visiting Key West posted a video of himself jumping into the water off a marina and manhandling a pelican, which fought back with its beak and nipped him in the face.

A Maryland man visiting Key West posted a video of himself jumping into the water off a marina and manhandling a pelican, which fought back with its beak and nipped him in the face.

The Maryland man who posted a video of himself jumping onto a pelican last month is now in a Florida Keys jail, having first been arrested at home on March 15.

William Hunter Hardesty, 31, faces two counts of felony animal cruelty, one count of intentional feeding of pelicans, and two counts of violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Hardesty posted the pelican video that shows him jumping on the pelican from the docks at the Key West Historic Seaport and holding the bird while someone else takes video.

The bird fought back, though, turning its neck around and biting Hardesty in the face.

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This photo provided by Maryland State Police shows William Hunter Hardesty. Maryland State Police said in a Friday, March 15, 2019 release that Hardesty was arrested at a hotel in Ocean City, Md. News outlets report the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission investigated the video of Hardesty trying to capture a brown pelican at Florida’s Key West Historic Seaport (Maryland State Police via AP) AP

Hardesty joked about the pelican saga and mocked his detractors on his Facebook page, drawing the ire of thousands of people. He remained in jail Tuesday morning on $80,000 bail. Hardesty was booked into the jail just after 11 Monday night.

The county jail list showed he is being detained at the Stock Island Detention Center.

His court appearance is set for 9 a.m. April 30 at the Monroe County Courthouse. He is accused of the bird-related crimes by an arrest warrant written by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Monroe Sheriff Rick Ramsay took a personal interest in the case after receiving tips from residents since the video went viral.

“He will be held accountable for this attack on wildlife,” Ramsay said.

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