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Image via the Center for Biological Diversity.

APolitical

Florida pols express outrage over discovery of manatee with ‘TRUMP’ carved into back

Harassment of a manatee is a federal criminal offense punishable by a $50,000 fine and up to one year in prison.

Florida pols are starting to respond to the image of a Florida manatee with the word “TRUMP” carved into its back.

Tampa Rep. Kathy Castor tweeted, “Nothing is sacred to a certain craven element. Let’s find who did this and bring them to justice.” Pinellas County Rep. Charlie Crist called the act “sickening” on Twitter and urged anyone with information to speak up.

The manatee was discovered Sunday in the Homosassa River with scarring in the form of the name Trump, according to a news release from the Center for Biological Diversity. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are investigating the crime.

Florida manatees are protected under the Endangered Species Act, in effect since 1963. Harassing a manatee is a federal criminal offense punishable by a $50,000 fine and up to one year in prison.

The Center for Biological Diversity announced Monday it will be offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to a conviction for the mutilation of the manatee, which is a threatened species.

The animals are slow-moving plant eaters with no natural enemies. Most years boat mortality makes up about 20% of known human-caused deaths.

Anyone with information can call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation hotline at (888) 404-3922.

Written By

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at kelly@floridapolitics.com.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Sonja Fitch

    January 12, 2021 at 3:44 am

    Omg the sick deranged perversion of the goptrump death cult sociopaths is just to much! Crying! Nothing is sacred to these misfits of the goptrump death cult! Omg please find them. give them a tattoo with a dull needle and no pain meds! Omg

  2. James Robert Miles

    January 12, 2021 at 8:31 am

    Trump has dismantled the EPA so this nonsense fits right in. Leave it to a Trumpster to do something like this!

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