Miami Police Arrest Woman for ‘Stomping’ on Sea Turtle Nest
OutdoorHub Reporters 06.18.19
A Florida tourist was taken into custody after she was caught trying to destroy a sea turtle nest on Miami Beach.
Police reportedly told Miami ABC affiliate WPLG Yaqun Lu, 41, was arrested after disturbing an area on the beach marked off by wooden stakes and yellow tape meant to protect a turtle’s nest.
Miami Beach Police say Lu was “jabbing and stomping” the nest and digging at it with one of the stakes. She was promptly arrested and charged with harassing/molesting a marine turtle or eggs, something MBPD and the state of Florida takes very seriously..
POLICE: MBPD arrested a woman this morning seen “jabbing at a sea turtle nest and stomping all over the nest.” Thankfully, it appears the eggs were not damaged.
Sea turtle nesting season runs from May 1 through October 31. #MBShareTheShore
— Miami Beach Police (@MiamiBeachPD) June 15, 2019
This kind of egregious act is a third-degree felony in Florida and Lu could be forced to pay a hefty fine if found guilty.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials went out to check on the condition of the nest and were happy to report no damage to any of the eggs.
Lu is apparently a Chinese citizen who lists a Michigan address as her permanent residence, WPLG reports. She was initially held on a $5,000 bond.
The sea turtle nesting season runs from May 1 to October 31, during which time loggerhead, green and leatherback marine turtles all make their way onto Miami beach to lay their eggs. It is imperative anyone who handles sea turtles or their eggs MUST be licensed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.