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The Student Newspaper of MAST Academy, since 1991.
The Student News Site of MAST Academy

The Beacon

The Beacon

GALLERY: Prom 2024
GALLERY: Prom 2024
April 7, 2024

The Propaganda-tee

By: Neomi Chapelin
Staff Writer

Just barely a week after the attack on the capital, another sign of Trump supporters was found over the weekend. This time it wasn’t fellow humans who had gotten hurt, though. A manatee was found with the word “Trump,” etched into its back.

Manatee found with the word “Trump,” written on the algae on its back. Photo by Hailey Warrington.

The animal was found near Homosassa Springs in Citrus County by a woman named Hailey Warrington while operating a manatee boat tour. Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported that Warrington immediately took photos to send them to the local authorities. Up to a $5,000 reward is being offered by The Center for Biological Diversity for any information about the situation.

Not only does this act reveal just how far we go to express our opinions, but manatees are actually protected under the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Protection Act. Plus, the punishment for harassing a manatee is up to a year in jail and a $50,000 fine. Five years ago, a man was sent to jail for trying to ride a manatee–one can only wonder what the punishment is for carving out Trump’s name the innocent mammal is.

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However, some people believe this is just another act against Trump. “The “carving” of “Trump” is into black algae not the manatee’s skin,” tweeted Leather&Lace (@YourLeatherLace). It also appears that people believe that the culprit was just scraping the algae off of the manatees back, not trying to hurt it. The New York Times reported that the algae was thick enough that it did not make a wound, only scraping the surface of the skin.

But this is not about whether the manatee was injured or not. It is about the fact that somebody carved those letters onto the algae, with the intent to hurt the animal or not, to express their political opinion. “You’re not even allowed to touch manatees. I think the discussion about how injured this one is is kind of missing the point,” tweeted Dabid Steen, Ph.D. (@AlongsideWild).

At the end of the day, it was confirmed that the carving was not into its back, but carved into the algae. The culprit is not excused, though. That is still harassment of the animal, which is a federal and state crime.

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