Woman arrested for allegedly stomping on sea turtle nests in Florida

Woman arrested for allegedly stomping on sea turtle nests in Florida

Woman arrested for allegedly stomping on sea turtle nests in Florida

Officers and bystanders saw Yaqun Li with a wooden stake in her hand "jabbing at the sea turtle nest and stomping all over the nest with her bare feet" on Saturday, June 15 as reported by Miami Herald on the same day.

A woman has been arrested in Miami Beach, Florida, after she was seen stomping on a sea turtle nest, according to police.

The area had been closed off to the public with yellow tape and a sign that said, "Do not disturb sea turtle nest", the affidavit says.

According to ABC News, Lu's actions constitute a third-degree felony, and her bond is held at $5,000.

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Lu, who provided police with a MI address, is facing a felony charge of harassing marine turtles or eggs. She could face up to five years in prison if convicted.

Sea turtles dig "nests", like the one Lu allegedly disturbed, on beaches where they lay their eggs - as many as 120 at a time - during nesting season.

The Miama Beach Police confirmed none of the eggs were harmed. Between May and October, Miami Beach hosts a multitude of sea turtle nestings, including those of three threatened species - the Loggerhead, Leatherback, and Green sea turtles. Sea turtles are federally protected by the U.S. Endangered Species Act of 1973. Under the Turtle Nesting Protection Ordinance, the city of Miami Beach has worked to minimize the impact of artificial lighting on hatchlings and nesting sea turtles. It does at least have a happy ending with a Miami Beach police spokesman telling reporters, "Thankfully, it appears the eggs were not damaged".

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