Seven men caught on camera dragging distressed manatee through the streets

Upsetting footage of an endangered manatee being tied up and dragged through the streets has emerged, sparking an immediate investigation.

The manatee, affectionately referred to as a sea cow as they’re slow plant-eaters, peaceful and similar to cows on land, is seen to use its flippers in a desperate attempt to stop the dragging.

Passersby can be heard shouting at the men and some are filming them as they drag the poor creature along a dirt path in Nigeria.

Heartbreaking footage showed an endangered manatee being pulled along a dirt road with ropes in the Niger delta region has sparked outcry in Nigeria

At one point it appears as though the manatee covers its eyes as it’s being dragged.

It’s unclear the motive behind this despicable violence or when the footage was filmed.

These aquatic mammals can be found in the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, Amazon Basin and West Africa. In Africa they are hunted for their meat, oil, bones, and skin, which can bring great wealth to poachers.

Nigeria’s deputy environment minister, Sharon Ikeazor, condemned the men’s actions and called for an investigation.

“My attention has been drawn to a very distressing and distasteful video of a captured manatee in the Niger Delta Region being dragged on bare ground to a cruel fate,” she said on Twitter.

“It is sad that manatees remain one of the most heavily hunted aquatic mammals, the repeated occurrence must be of great concern to us all,” she said.

At one point the manatee appeared to cover its eyes with its flippers

Director of the African Aquatic Conservation Fund, Dr Lucy Diagne, told MailOnline that despite it being illegal to hunt these beautiful creatures hunting was their biggest threat.

“I am encouraged by being contacted by the Minister of the Environment and hope she will be proactive in seeing that the men involved in the video, as well as illegal hunters throughout Nigeria, are arrested and the arrests publicized.”

Such a despicable act committed against an innocent animal. I hope these men are caught and punished.

The sooner we realize that the world’s animals do not belong to us to do with what we want the better for everyone, please share if you agree.