MIAMI: Wildlife authorities in Florida on Monday appealed for help in identifying who was responsible for scratching the name “Trump” on to the hide of a manatee.

The appeal by the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) came after the Citrus County Chronicle published video that clearly showed the name of the US president etched on to the back of one of the large, slow-moving marine mammals.

Craig Cavanna, an investigating officer for the federal service, told the local newspaper that he was unable to comment “on a current, ongoing investigation.” He said whoever was responsible faced a fine of up to $50,000 and a year in a federal prison for harming a protected species.

The manatee was spotted on Sunday, four days after Donald Trump supporters stormed the seat of the US Congress in Washington, leaving five people dead. It was not clear when the animal was harmed.

It was swimming in the waters of the Homosassa River on the west coast of Florida, where the animals gather at this time of year in search of warmer waters.

Published in Dawn, January 13th, 2021

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