Woman arrested after 'stomping on sea turtles' nest with her bare feet'
A Michigan woman has been arrested in Florida over the weekend after allegedly stomping on a sea turtle nest with her bare feet.
The Miami Herald reports that 41-year-old Yaqun Lu, a Chinese woman with a Michigan address, was seen by law enforcement officers and bystanders holding a wooden stake and allegedly "jabbing at the sea turtle nest and stomping all over the nest with her bare feet".
She has been charged with molesting or harassing marine turtles and/or their eggs. Thankfully, the eggs remained unharmed by Lu's actions.
The nest in question had been hidden away in a closed-off and protected area of Miami Beach, with clear demarcations such as a double perimeter of eight wooden stakes and yellow tape, as well as a clear "Do Not Disturb" sign by the nest. "Thankfully, it appears the eggs were not damaged," said Miami Beach police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, sea turtles are protected under the US Endangered Species act of 1973, while it's illegal to harm or harass sea turtles or their hatchlings in Florida.
Miami Beach is a nesting ground to at least three different sea turtle species, with the Loggerhead, Green, and Leatherback sea turtles all choosing to hatch their young in the area. This is why the area was cordoned off beforehand. The nesting season takes place usually between April and November every year.
Lu was taken into custody and remains there on a $5,000 bond.