Manatee with ‘Trump’ scraped on back seen in Florida; U.S. Fish and Wildlife investigating

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An endangered manatee swims out of a sanctuary in the warm water springs known as Three Sisters on March 9, 2016 in Crystal River, Florida, where thousands of tourists swim with the sea cows every year.
Languid, whiskered and weighing as much as 1,200 pounds (545 kilograms), the bulbous Florida manatees — a subspecies of the West Indian manatees — were among the first creatures to be named by the United States as a federally endangered species in 1967, alongside the iconic bald eagle and American alligator.
(KERRY SHERIDAN/AFP via Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is investigating an incident in which a Florida manatee was seen with the word “Trump” inscribed on its back.

Photos of the manatee were going viral Monday, but according to Fish and Wildlife spokesperson Christina Meister, the manatee does not appear to be seriously injured.

“It seems that the word was written in algae on the animal’s back,” she said.

“West Indian manatees are essential members of the ecosystems in which they inhabit and are protected under the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act,” said Aurelia Skipwith, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is aware of this incident and is working closely with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission,” Skipwith said.

Fish and Wildlife asks anyone with information to call their wildlife crime tips hotline at 1-844-397-8477 or email them at fws_tips@fws.gov

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