Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Someone Wrote ‘Trump’ on a Florida Manatee. (NY Times)


Some Dull Republicans and misanthropes hate nature.  The want to "own the libs" by arrogant, asinine stupid human tricks, like this one.  From The New York Times:

Someone Wrote ‘Trump’ on a Florida Manatee

Wildlife authorities are investigating and said that the harassment of the manatee is illegal under state and federal laws.

State and federal wildlife authorities were investigating after a manatee with “Trump” on its back was spotted in Florida on Sunday.
Credit...Hailey Warrington

The sighting in Florida this week of a manatee with “Trump” in block letters on its back has prompted an investigation and a plea for help from a nonprofit conservation group.

The Center for Biological Diversity said it was offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to a conviction “for the cruel and illegal mutilation” of a threatened manatee in the Homosassa River in Citrus County, on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

It was not immediately clear what was done to the manatee. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said that the manatee did not appear to be seriously injured “as it seems the word was written in algae on the animal’s back.” The Center for Biological Diversity initially described the writing as having been “carved” into the manatee’s back and said it appeared to have caused “serious scarring.”

“Manatees aren’t billboards, and people shouldn’t be messing with these sensitive and imperiled animals for any reason,” Jaclyn Lopez, the center’s Florida director, said on Monday.

“However this political graffiti was put on this manatee,” she added, “it’s a crime to interfere with these creatures, which are protected under multiple federal laws.”


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission began investigating after the manatee was discovered on Sunday, the center said. The discovery was reported by the Citrus County Chronicle.

DEALBOOK: An examination of the major business and policy headlines and the power brokers who shape them.

The manatee was photographed and recorded by Hailey Warrington, a boat captain for a fishing charter company in Crystal River, Fla.

“We don’t typically see manatees harassed like that,” Ms. Warrington told The Sarasota Herald-Tribune, saying that she was observing manatees during a tour at the time. “I started documenting so we could report it. That’s why I have the photos and video in the first place.”


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Patrick Rose, the executive director of the nonprofit Save the Manatee Club, said he had seen the photos of the manatee earlier on Monday and was disturbed.

“This is a type of a molestation of an imperiled species,” he said on Monday from Gainesville, Fla. He added that the manatee appeared to be an adolescent.

His alarm was shared by other conservationists.

“This abhorrent action goes beyond the bounds of what is considered cruel and inhumane,” said Elizabeth Fleming, senior Florida representative at Defenders of Wildlife. “I’m disgusted that someone would harm a defenseless creature to send what I can only assume is a political message. We will do everything in our power to help find, arrest and successfully prosecute this coward.”

A beloved unofficial mascot of Florida, the manatee is a species of large, slow-moving mammal. There are about 6,300 manatees in Florida, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In colder weather, they tend to congregate near South Florida power plants, where they bask in the warm water discharge.

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 that “it is unlawful for any person, at any time, intentionally or negligently, to annoy, molest, harass, or disturb any manatee.”

The animals are vulnerable to scarring, typically from collisions with boats but also from exposure to very cold temperatures.

Mr. Rose of the Florida manatee advocacy group said that writing the president’s name on the manatee’s back “would be a form of harassment and it would be illegal under state and federal laws.”


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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 of up to $50,000 and a year in prison, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Johnny Diaz is a general assignment reporter covering breaking news. He previously worked for the South Florida Sun Sentinel and The Boston Globe. 

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