Miami Beach woman arrested for stomping on sea turtle nest

MARK OSBORNE

Miami Beach woman arrested for stomping on sea turtle nest originally appeared on abcnews.go.com

A Miami Beach woman was arrested on Saturday for jabbing at and stomping on a sea turtle nest.

Yaqun Lu, 41, crossed into an area of the beach that was cordoned off by wooden stakes and tape to protect the nest and began digging at it with one of the stakes, police told Miami ABC affiliate WPLG.

(MORE: Virginia governor signs 'Tommie's Law,' making animal cruelty a felony offense)

She then began "jabbing at a sea turtle nest and stomping all over the nest," the Miami Beach Police Department said.

Lu was arrested and has been charged with harassing/molesting a marine turtle or eggs, according to jail records. The crime is a third-degree felony in Florida and she could face a hefty fine if found guilty.

PHOTO: Yaqun Lu, 41, was arrested in Miami Beach, Fla., on Saturday, June 15, 2019, for digging up a sea turtle nest and trying to stomp on the eggs. (Miami-Dade County Department of Corrections)

She is being held on $5,000 bond.

Lu is a Chinese national, but lives in Michigan, according to WPLG.

(MORE: Florida bill would make it illegal to abandon tied-up dogs during a hurricane or other disasters)

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials inspected the nest and said the eggs were not damaged in the odd outburst.

Sea turtles, depending on the species, are listed as either endangered or threatened and are protected by the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973 and Florida's Marine Turtle Protection Act. Anyone who handles sea turtles or their eggs, such as for scientific or educational purposes, must be licensed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Loggerhead, green and leatherback marine turtles all lay eggs on Miami Beach, according to the city.