A 41-year-old woman was recently arrested after attacking a sea turtle nest with a wooden stake in Miami, Florida. According to the police, eyewitnesses saw Yaqun Lu, a Chinese citizen and Michigan resident, “jabbing at the turtle nest and stomping all over the nest with her bare feet,” the Miami Herald reported.
Photograph by David Sng
The woman was picked up and charged with “molesting or harassing” marine turtles or their eggs. The nest itself was in a cordoned-off protected area on the beach and was surrounded by a double perimeter of eight wooden stakes and yellow tape. “Do Not Disturb” signs were all over. It was clear to any person passing that they shouldn’t mess with the turtles, however, Ms. Lu didn’t seem to be phased by the signs.
Thankfully, the eggs were not damaged despite the woman’s attacks. Sea turtles are protected by the U.S. Endangered Species Act of 1973. Harming or harassing sea turtles, their nests or their hatchlings also goes against Florida statutes.