Former WWE Wrestler Offers $20K Reward to Find Suspects Who Defaced Manatee

Dave Bautista, 51, took to Twitter to condemn the act of harassment on the marine mammal

A former WWE wrestler said he is offering a $20,000 reward to find the suspects who defaced a Florida manatee by scrawling “Trump” onto its back. 

Dave Bautista, 51, took to Twitter to condemn the act of harassment on the marine mammal.

“If there’s not already a reward for the arrest and conviction of the low life scummy MAGATs that did this I’ll throw in $20,000,” Bautista wrote on Twitter. “And I promise there will be bonuses to that reward!”

The defaced manatee was found Sunday in the Homosassa River north of Tampa, the Citrus County Chronicle reported. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is investigating the incident.

According to the Center for Biological Diversity, the perpetrators apparently scratched the word “Trump” into algae on the creature’s back. 

“Manatees aren’t billboards, and people shouldn’t be messing with these sensitive and imperiled animals for any reason,” said Jaclyn Lopez, the Florida director at the center. “However this political graffiti was put on this manatee, it’s a crime to interfere with these creatures, which are protected under multiple federal laws.”

Manatees are protected by the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act and are federally protected by both the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act. Harassing a manatee can carry a penalty of a $50,000 fine and/or up to one year in federal prison.

The Center for Biological Diversity is also offering a $5,000 reward for any information that leads to a conviction.

The species had been endangered but was reclassified to a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act in May, 2017.

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