Florida Manatee Spotted With 'Trump' Etched Into Its Back


Just when you think things can't get any more strange, in rolls news out of Florida!

In Florida, someone spotted a manatee with the word "Trump" etched on its back.

The sighting prompted an investigation and plea for help from a nonprofit conservation group.

The Center of Biological Diversity said they are offering a $5,000 reward for information that could lead to the conviction of the person responsible for this cruel, illegal and just plain weird mutilation.

Jacklyn Lopez, the center's Florida director told the NY Times.

"Manatees aren't billboards and people shouldn't be messing with these sensitive and imperiled animals for any reason. However this political graffiti was put on this manatee, it is a crime to interfere with these creatures, which are protected under multiple federal laws"


It was initially reported that someone carved the letters into the animals back but it was later discovered that letters were written in the algae on the animal's back.

There are about 6,300 manatees in Florida, they are federally protected under the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

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

People who violate the state law can face up to a $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail. A federal conviction carries a fine up to $50,000 and a year in prison, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Will the manatee be ok? According to Quinton White, Executive Director of Jacksonville University's Marine Science Research Institute told Slate.

"The algae growth will return, the name on the animal will disappear over time. But what the long term impact on the animal is, we don't know."

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