Jamie O'Brien is a professional surfer, based in Hawaii.
A professional photograph recently appeared of him "riding" a sea turtle.
Other than general backlash on the Internet, he may have actually violated state and federal laws.
This could cost him THOUSANDS of dollars in fines.
Some of the more upset people, are the native Hawaiians. To some of them, the "honu" (Hawaiian for sea turtle) is considered to be an ancestral spirit.
So riding them is pretty much a no-no.
A little while after the controversy began rising up, Jamie wrote on his twitter:
"Context is EVERYTHING !!!"
Regardless of context, wildlife officials said:
"You have to maintain your distance and we have guidelines, stated guidelines, that suggest don't feed the animals, don't pet the animals, don't ride the animals.
In this particular instance this individual was actually riding the animal."
Sounds kind of cut and dry to us if they literally have a law saying "don't ride the animals."
[Image via AP Images.]
Tags: hawaii, illegal, ride, sea turtle, surfer, turtle