I was extremely disturbed when I saw this. I can't imagine how that poor creature must have felt to be held down while a human forcibly etched out "Trump" on this manatees back. And for what purpose? To make a political point...on a wild animal? The entitlement to think that in any way this was okay is honestly disgusting and deplorable. This is a protected animal, with it's numbers decreasing in the wild, and they already have to endure being struck by propellers on a constant basis as humans inhabit their space. Hopefully the person(s) will be found and punished to the fullest extent of the law, and let this be a lesson to anyone who thinks that animals are a political prop to be abused in such a way....it.is.not.okay.
"The Center for Biological Diversity today announced a $5,000 reward for information leading to a conviction in an incident involving a threatened Florida manatee in north Florida’s Homosassa River. A statement issued late today by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service indicates that someone apparently scratched the word TRUMP into algae on the animal's back." (Source: https://biologicaldiversity.org/w/news/press-releases/5000-reward-offered-for-info-on-trump-carved-into-florida-manatees-back-2021-01-11/)
I've always had a fascination with these beautiful gentle giants, and just a few weeks ago my daughter and I were running along a marina when we spotted two adults and a baby feeding right at the docks edge. We watched them in awe for awhile as they weren't bothered by all the humans enjoying their beautiful presence, as they peacefully grazed on sea grass. To think that someone would intentionally cause distress, or harm, to one of these amazing creatures is upsetting to even think about. We are wards of this planet, and all the animals on it, we should be protecting them, not abusing them.
After this incident I felt moved to create a manatee painting to bring attention to this amazing creature and to just let them be, they are not here for us to use in any way shape or form. They do not cause us harm, so let us do the same for them and provide a safe environment for them to flourish in.
In Keeping with my efforts to minimize my carbon footstep and live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle I've started using Canson recyclyed Bristol Paper. "Gentle Giant" is created on their 19"x24" paper and the original painting is offered for sale HERE.
A portion of the proceeds from my MAD wonderland collection sales, is donated to Re:wild (formerly know as Global Wildlife Conservation), an organization I have collaborated with, and continue to contribute to. "We believe that together, we can protect and restore those ecosystems critical to the health of our planet—from the Amazon to Australia and from Borneo to our own backyards. We are excited to embark on this journey, because we believe that, together, we can rewild our world.." (Co-founded by Leonardo Dicaprio.)