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Manatee Found In Florida With “Trump” Etched On Its Back

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  • The animal did not look like it was seriously injured, describing it as “it seems the word was written in algae on the animal’s back.”
  • The manatee is a species of large, slow-moving mammal and considered a beloved unofficial mascot of Florida.
  • A $5000 reward is now being offered for the “cruel and illegal mutilation” of the manatee.

On January 10, a manatee was sighted in the Homosassa River in Citrus County, on Florida’s Gulf Coast with the word “Trump” written in block letters on its back. This prompted an investigation since manatees are federally protected under the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act of the U.S.

A diver named Hailey Warrington was the one who discovered the manatee. She said that seeing it “broke her heart.”

A $5000 reward is now being offered by the Center for Biological Diversity for anyone with information that led to the “cruel and illegal mutilation” of the manatee.

Jaclyn Lopez, the center’s Florida director, said, “It’s heartbreaking that this manatee was subjected to this vile, criminal act.”

“It’s clear that whoever harmed this defenseless, gentle giant is capable of doing grave violence and needs to be apprehended immediately.”

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the animal did not look like it was seriously injured, describing it as “it seems the word was written in algae on the animal’s back.” The manatee appeared to be an adoslescent, he added.

The manatee is a species of large, slow-moving mammal and considered a beloved unofficial mascot of Florida. There are about 6,300 of them in the state, according to the USFWS.

These manatees tend to congregate near the South Florida power plants during the colder periods. Here they can enjoy the discharge of warm water from the plants.

They are also protected by the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act of 1978, which states that “it is unlawful for any person, at any time, intentionally or negligently, to annoy, molest, harass, or disturb any manatee.”

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Patrick Rose, the executive director of the nonprofit Save the Manatee Club, said that the etching of the president’s name on the animal’s back “would be a form of harassment and it would be illegal under state and federal laws.”

Violators will be made to pay up to $500 in fines and up to 60 days in jail. If federally convicted, the fine is up to $50,000 and a year in prison.

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