Zoo asks you to help get the first manatee emoji

Manatee emoji
(Image courtesy Lowry Park Zoo)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — November is Manatee Awareness Month, and to help people near and far feel the love for this endangered species, Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is asking for the creation of the first manatee emoji.

The zoo created a petition to Unicode asking for the creation of a manatee emoji, in the hopes that the campaign will inspire people to learn and get involved in the protection of manatees.

The zoo says it’s “been looking for new ways to communicate their work with new, younger audiences and get people to feel the love for this endangered species.”

Emojis, a type of emoticon common on smartphones, continue to grow in popularity. In 2015 Oxford English Dictionary declared one emoji, a pictograph named “Face with Tears of Joy,” as its Word of the Year.

The goal of the petition is to gain 25,000 signatures. At the time of this writing the zoo had 921.

For more information on the petition and to sign it, click here.

Originally published by our Media General sister station in Tampa, Florida, WFLA-TV