politics

'Despicable act towards manatee is symbol of Trump's vile presidency'


As US president Donald Trump faces a second impeachment, followers of the ludicrous leader have left their mark in a sinister attack.

Large, grey and very docile, manatees are popular attractions in Florida, though their numbers are at risk due to habitat loss and the danger of boat strikes.

Now one has sadly made global ­headlines for all the wrong reasons after it was used as a political billboard.

Wildlife officials are hunting down the twisted idiot responsible for scratching “Trump” on the hide of a live manatee in Florida.



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The slow-moving marine mammal was spotted in the Homosassa River, on the west coast of the state, four days after Trump supporters stormed the seat of the US Congress in Washington. It was not clear when the animal was harmed.

There are about 6,000 manatees remaining and they have been protected under the Endangered Species Act since 1963.

Harassing or harming them is a federal crime that carries a £37,000 fine and up to a year in prison.



The docile manatee has made global headlines for all the wrong reasons

Douglas Nowacek, Professor of Conservation Technology at Duke University, US, said it was “one of the most horrifying things I have ever seen done to a wild animal”.

Jaclyn Lopez, Florida director at the Centre for Biological Diversity, called it a “vile, criminal act”. She said: “Manatees aren’t billboards and people shouldn’t be messing with these sensitive and ­imperilled animals for any reason.”

The Centre for Biological Diversity has offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to a conviction.

After a presidency that has shown little, if any, respect to wildlife and the environment, this appalling act is perhaps the tragic symbol of his White House tenancy.





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