Florida wildlife authorities on Monday appealed for help in identifying who was responsible for scratching the name “Trump” on the skin of a manatee.
The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) call came after the Citrus County Chronicle published a video clearly showing the name of the US president engraved on the back of one of the large, slow-evolving marine mammals.
Craig Cavanna, a federal service investigator, told the local newspaper he was unable to comment on “an ongoing and ongoing investigation.”
He said anyone responsible could face a fine of up to $ 50,000 and one year in federal prison for harming a protected species.
The manatee was spotted on Sunday, four days after supporters of Donald Trump stormed the seat of Congress in Washington, killing five. It was not clear when the animal was injured.
He swam in the waters of the Homosassa River on the west coast of Florida, where animals congregate this time of year in search of warmer waters.
The shallow waters of the canals make manatees accessible to tourists who take boat trips to swim among the large harmless creatures. It also makes creatures more vulnerable to attacks from humans.
Florida is home to around 7,500 gentle herbivores, which are related to elephants and have whiskers on their snouts and a spoon tail. They are also known as “sea cows”.
Despite their size – they can grow to four meters in length and weigh half a ton – they are easily injured by boats that navigate the state’s waterways and coastal waters.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, of the 637 manatees who died in 2020, 90 were victims of collisions with boats and another 15 were killed by other interactions with humans.
© 2021 AFP