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A Florida man was charged with taking over 100 loggerhead sea turtle eggs as the turtle was laying them on a beach, the state wildlife and conservation commission said Monday.
Glenn Shaw, 49, of Tequesta, was arrested at around 10:30 p.m. Friday after officers saw him taking eggs from the turtle on Jupiter Island, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said in a statement.
Of the 107 eggs found in Shaw’s possession, 15 were kept as evidence for DNA testing and the 92 other eggs were re-buried, according to the commission. It is hoped the re-buried eggs will hatch later this year, the commission said.
Shaw is charged with a third-degree felony for allegedly violating the marine turtle protection act, according to according to the commission and jail records. Taking and possessing sea turtle eggs is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of $5,000, according to the commission.
Jupiter Island is on the state’s Atlantic Ocean coast, about 100 miles north of Miami.
NBC affiliate WPTV reported that last week the commission received a tip from FWC biologists about a possible suspect stealing eggs from a Jupiter Island beach behind a home. Patrols were increased and officers then spotted the alleged poaching, the commission said.
"Protecting Florida’s natural resources is something we take seriously, and we’re thankful that this individual was prevented from doing further harm to this imperiled species,” FWC Captain Jeff Ardelean said in a statement to WPTV.
Loggerhead turtles originating from the northwest Atlantic Ocean and the south Atlantic Ocean are listed as threatened by the Endangered Species Act, according to the federal U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Threatened means the species is likely to become endangered. In other parts of the world, loggerhead turtles are listed as endangered.
Shaw was being held at the Palm Beach County Jail in lieu of $3,000 bail Tuesday, the sheriff's office said. No one answered a phone number listed for Shaw, and it was unclear whether he has an attorney.