On Sunday, January 10, a manatee in Florida was spotted with “Trump” scratched onto their back in block letters. Hailey Warrington, a boat captain and environmental specialist, was taking people out on a manatee tour when she saw spotted the animal.

Source: WFLA News Channel 8/YouTube

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Warrington described being “sickened” and “disturbed” upon seeing the etching, especially on such a sweet and gentle animal. She immediately contacted officials on both a state and federal level so that they could find who was responsible. Government officials are currently in the midst of an investigation. They ask anyone who may have information on the crime to call 1(888)-404-3922. The Center for Biological Diversity is also offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to a conviction of the perpetrator.

Manatees are protected by both the Endangered Species Act as well as the Marine Mammal Protection Act. If convicted on a state level, the perpetrator could be fined up to $500 and jailed for up to 60 days. If they are convicted on a federal level, they could face a fine of up to $50,000 and jail time of up to one year.

Fortunately, the scratches were mostly on the algae, so the manatee was not greatly injured. Warrington cleaned their back to prevent any future safety issues or negative attention and the manatee was able to swim away.

Sign this petition to make sure that the person who did this is found and charged for abusing this manatee!

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