Retired WWE star and Guardians of the Galaxy actor Dave Bautista is offering a $20,000 reward to whoever catches the person that scraped ‘Trump’ into a manatee’s back.
News broke earlier this week about the horrific ordeal where a manatee’s back was defaced by an apparent Trump supporter.
The animal was discovered on Sunday, January 10, in the waters of Florida’s Homosassa River.
While the animal wasn’t seriously injured, officials launched an investigation into the matter and offered $5,000 reward for anyone with information that could lead them to the culprit. It’s believed the etched message wasn’t into the manatee skin, but the algae on its back.
Check out footage of the manatee here:
After the announcement of the investigation, Bautista offered four times more money to help the authorities track the person down.
He tweeted on Tuesday, January 12, ‘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. And I promise there will be bonuses to that reward!’
People responded to the 51-year-old’s tweet applauding him for helping with the investigation.
OMG Thank you. I live here in FL and am active in animal rescue and conservation. I’ve been trying to think of a way to offer some kind of reward but with things so financially difficult right now I couldn’t. Absolutely crying. Thank you.
Someone else commented, ‘This is deplorable and I wish I had the money to throw in on that reward with you. At the very least I’m retweeting in the hopes it helps catch the lowlife(s) responsible.’
A third person wrote, ‘The reward is awesome but I think the guilty person deserves a punch in the face by you. That would be the bonus’, and many more agreed with her.
Joking aside, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 637 manatees died last year – 90 of which were caused by boat collisions while 15 were killed during interactions with humans.
Following the news of the etching on the defenceless manatee, Aurelia Skipwith, director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, issued a statement stating that the animal didn’t appear to be injured.
The statement read, ‘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. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is aware of this incident and is working closely with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.’
Hopefully, with the help of Bautista’s donation, the culprit will be found soon.