Florida manatee with ‘Trump’ scraped into back spurs a federal investigation

A manatee with the word “Trump” scratched into its back has triggered a federal investigation that could end in jail time for the culprit. Whether the mutilation will harm the animal’s long-term health, however, is not yet known.

According to the Citrus County Chronicle, the manatee was found swimming in Blue Hole in the headwaters of the Homosassa River on the Gulf Coast of Florida. In large, capital letters, the word “Trump” stretched across the animal’s back almost from its the manatee’s neck to its tail in large, capital letters. It wasn’t clear how the word was etched and how much damage was done to the manatee’s skin in the process. However, even minor harassment of manatees can lead to major consequences. Late last year, a Florida boat captain was sentenced to 50 hours of community service after poking a manatee on the back with a fishing pole.

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