A manatee in Florida was found to have “TRUMP” engraved on its back, so federal authorities are investigating.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service told BuzzFeed News that the mammal did not appear to have been “seriously injured,” saying the word was apparently etched into the algae on the top of its skin.
An underwater video shared by Captain Hailey Warrington with Fox 35 News in Orlando shows the markings of a manatee as it moves in the Homosassa River.
Warrington told the local TV station that she had spotted the manatee during the tour she led on Sunday, which was a frequent visitor to the area.
She said: “For us, this is a very atypical thing.” Although it seems that there is no injury, it seems that the animal is very upset.
The manatee protected by the “Law on Endangered Species” are slow-moving herbivores and have no natural enemies. According to the Center for Biodiversity, humans are often dangerous to mammals, especially when ships collide.
The center will offer a reward of five thousand dollars and provide information to arrest them.
“Manatees are not billboards, and people should not mess up these sensitive and handicapped animals for any reason,” said Jaclyn Lopez, director of the Florida Center. “No matter what political graffiti is painted on this manatee, it is a crime to interfere with these creatures protected by various federal laws.”
Harassing or harassing a manatee is a federal crime with a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a fine of $50,000.
Those who request any information about the incident call the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Criminal Tips Hotline at 1-844-397-8477 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.