Manatee found in Florida with 'Trump' carved in its skin

Pablo Tucker
January 12, 2021

The aquatic mammal was spotted over the weekend in the Homosassa River in Citrus County, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission confirmed.

Wildlife officials in Florida are looking for the people responsible for carving the word "Trump" on the back of a protected manatee.

Officials with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would not comment on the investigation as it is now ongoing, the report says. He added that they are following leads in the case. With it would come a possible $50,000 fine and/or as much as a year in federal prison.

"It's clear that whoever harmed this defenseless, gentle giant is capable of doing grave violence and needs to be apprehended immediately", Jaclyn Lopez, the nonprofit group's Florida director, said in a statement.

It is unknown when the carving occurred or the political affiliation of those involved, but the Center offered an award of $5,000 for any information leading to the conviction of the perpetrator. It appears that the word was written in algae that had grown on the animal's back, not scratched into its skin.

"It's a little hard to see the extent of damage from the video", Carmichael said to Vice. "Additionally, open wounds could become infected".

As for potential charges, Cavanna explained that an act of harassment against a manatee is a Class A federal offense.

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