Manatee Spotted With ‘Trump’ Written On Back, Reward For Anyone With Info
On Sunday afternoon, a manatee was spotted in a river 80 miles north of Tampa with the word “Trump” drawn on its back. State and federal wildlife are investigating after Hailey Warrington took pictures of the sleeping animal in shallow water in Homosassa Springs during a manatee swim tour.
“This was uncharacteristic for our area,” said Warrington. “As a tour guide, I was distraught, just as much ifs not more than the manatee was.”
Warrington reported her finding to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. A $5,000 reward is being offered by the Center of Biological Diversity for any information that could lead to a conviction.
“It’s heartbreaking that this manatee was subjected to this vile, criminal act,” said Jaclyn Lopez, director at the center in a statement. “It’s clear that whoever harmed this defenseless, gentle giant is capable of doing grave violence and needs to be apprehended immediately.”
Officials stated that there appears to be no serious damage done to the manatee as the word was written in algae that stuck on the aquatic mammal’s back, not scratched into its skin.
“West Indian manatees are essential members of the ecosystems in which they inhabit and are protected under the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection act,” said Aurelia Skipwith, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director in a statement.
Tips for any information related to the manatee can be reported at 888-404-3922. Harassing a manatee is a federal crime and can be punishable by a $50,000 fine and up to one year in prison.
Here is the video of the poor manatee that had "TRUMP" carved into its body.
Minding it's own business and some monster(s) came along and did this.
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) January 11, 2021