Hunter Hardesty appeared to attack a federally protected pelican in Key West
Hardesty posted footage on his Facebook page with many condemning him
He jumps into water on top of the pelican and is seen holding him and laughing
The pelican then snaps at his face, manages to break free and then flies away
The Davidsonville, Maryland man could now face animal cruelty charges
PUBLISHED: 13:51, 10 March 2019 | UPDATED: 21:52, 10 March 2019
A man could be charged after a video showed him attacking a protected pelican in Key West, Florida.
Hunter Hardesty from Davidsonville, Maryland posted footage on his Facebook page with many people condemning him for his actions.
The video, posted on March 7, starts and shows Hardesty appearing to lean over a harbor’s edge holding out something in his hand.
The pelican floats closer and Hardesty appears to jump into the water on top of the pelican, causing both to sink beneath the water’s surface.
Hardesty then grabs the large bird with two hands while others not pictured on camera can be heard laughing.
A woman in the background tells him: 'If you don't get out of there right now I'm going to call security. Knock this party off right now.'
The bird appears visibly distressed and as Hardesty holds on to him, as his friends laugh from a jetty.
The pelican then snaps at the man with is beak before flying off to another area.
Social media users Many blasted at the stunt on Hardesty’s Facebook page, branding it cruel and stating they had reported him to Florida law enforcement.
A post from Hardesty on Friday read: 'The book blowin up on a Friday !! Sheesh.'
Dennis John Deevy Jr wrote: 'We need to get a petition to have this MF charged.'