A group of coastal Alabama teens have been arrested after police said they poured alcohol on a turtle that was trying to nest on the beach.
Officers arrested the teens Thursday night after receiving calls about a group harassing a sea turtle, Orange Beach Police said in a news release. It’s unclear how many people were involved.
Police said they arrived to find the group hanging around near the nesting sea turtle and, after further investigation, learned they had dumped alcohol on the animal. The teens were all charged with underage possession of alcohol.
Police haven’t said exactly where the incident took place, in an effort to “to protect the sea turtle nest,” AL.com reported. The state’s gulf beaches, including Orange Beach, are where loggerheads, Kemp’s ridley and other endangered sea turtles go to lay their eggs each year.
They’re protected under federal law — and disturbing one could cost you a pretty penny. The fines for harassing, mishandling or killing an endangered species can run up to $10,500.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is now investigating.