First reported by The Chronicle Online, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are now opening an investigation after video rose online of the harassment of the manatee pictured above. The animal was reported to federal authorities over the weekend when it was discovered with the words "Trump" scrapped in its back.
The animal was reported swimming in the Blue Hole, headwaters of the Homosassa River.
according to an update provided by federal officials to the Center Monday night the manatee "does not appear to be seriously injured," though "experiencing signs of stress"
Director for the Center for Biological Diversity, Jaclyn Lopez, announced a $5,000 reward for information leading to a conviction in the investigation adding "It’s heartbreaking that this manatee was subjected to this vile, criminal act (...) We don't typically see manatees harassed like that, I started documenting so we could report it. That's why I have the photos and video in the first place."
The USFWS is looking for any information regarding the harassment of this animal. Call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation hotline at 888-404-3922 to report information.
video below via USA Today shows the "political graffiti" in closer detail