HOMOSASSA, Fla. - 'Guardians of the Galaxy' star and former WWE champion Dave Bautista is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person who scraped the word 'TRUMP' on a Florida manatee.
The Tampa native, who plays Drax in the popular Marvel films, tweeted the offer earlier this week, promising the reward and "bonuses" to whoever helps find the person responsible.
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is leading the investigation after the animal was spotted swimming in Homosassa Springs over the weekend. The Center for Biological Diversity previously announced a $5,000 reward for information leading to a conviction.
Video shared by boat captain Hailey Warrington showed "TRUMP" had been dug into the layer of algae and grime on the manatee’s back.
Warrington told FOX 13 News that she was leading a tour on Sunday when she recognized the female as one of the regulars in the area, based on the manatee’s boat propeller scars. But there was a new ‘scar’ on the manatee’s back.
Slow-moving manatees often gather a layer of algae on their skin. In this case, someone had carved the president’s name into that layer.
While the manatee’s skin was exposed, it did not appear wounded. Still, Warrington said the already skittish animal was even more wary than normal.
"It did seem that the animal was very upset," she offered.
Harassment of the manatees is a federal offense and carries a fine of up to $50,000 and a possible federal prison sentence.
The USFWS is asking anyone with information to call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 1-888-404-FWCC. They’ll forward tips along to federal investigators.