Video of manatee with ‘Trump’ scraped onto its back leads to online campaign to find those responsible

Yasemin Craggs Mersinoglu
Tuesday 12 January 2021 13:05
news
(USFWS)

A video of a manatee in Florida with “Trump” scraped onto its back has sparked outrage on social media, and users are now trying to help find the perpetrators.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service is looking for the person or people responsible for carving or somehow writing the president’s name on the “sea-cow’s” back.

The mammal was found in the Homosassa River on Florida's “Nature Coast”.

Harassment of manatees, which are protected by the Endangered Species Act, is a federal criminal offence punishable by a $50,000 fine and up to a year in prison.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service, which is investigating the case, said that manatee did not seem to be seriously injured as it appeared “the word was written in algae on the animal’s back”.

The majority of voters in Citrus County backed Trump in the 2020 presidential election, and he also carried the state.

Social media users expressed their fury and shared how the public can report any tips.

Some spoke about the importance of protecting one of Florida’s unofficial mascots.

Many were outraged about the news.

Others supported the view that the letters had been etched into algae on the manatee’s back. 

The Center for Biological Diversity is offering a $5,000 reward for information which helps the conviction of those responsible for the act.

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