Authorities in Florida say a woman has been arrested on suspicion of disturbing the nest of a protected species while at the shore in Miami Beach on Saturday.
According to ABC News, 41-year-old Yaqun Lu is accused of walking past an area restricted with wooden posts and tape, where she found a sea turtle nest filled with eggs. The suspect is described as a resident of Michigan and native of China.
An affidavit shows the area was closed off to the public with a sign stating, “Do not disturb sea turtle nest,” as reported by KTLA.
A Miami Beach Police Department report alleges that Lu was spotted “jabbing” at the nest and “stomping” on it. City officials indicate that leatherback, loggerhead, and green sea turtles are known to lay their eggs in the area.
POLICE: MBPD arrested a woman this morning seen “jabbing at a sea turtle nest and stomping all over the nest.” Thankfully, it appears the eggs were not damaged.
Sea turtle nesting season runs from May 1 through October 31. #MBShareTheShore
— Miami Beach Police (@MiamiBeachPD) June 15, 2019
She was arrested at the scene on suspicion of a third-degree felony count of harassing or molesting a marine turtle or eggs.
As of the latest reports available, she had been booked into jail, where she remained behind bars with bond set at $5,000.
Despite the alleged attempt to disturb the nest, officials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reported after surveying the scene that the sea turtle eggs were not harmed.
[Featured image: Yaqun Lu, Miami-Dade County Department of Corrections]