Police saw a woman ‘stomping’ around a sea turtle nest at Miami Beach. She’s in jail now

Police arrested a woman who allegedly jabbed at a Florida sea turtle nest with a wooden stick.

Yaqun Lu, 41, faces a felony charge of molesting marine turtles or eggs after officers on Saturday saw her “stomping” around the nesting area. Yellow tape and sticks closed off the area from the public at Miami Beach, but Lu allegedly took one of the wooden sticks to disturb a nest. 

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission determined none of the eggs were damaged, local station WPLG reported.

Three protected species of sea turtles – the loggerhead, green and leatherback – nest at Miami Beach from April to early November, according to the city’s website. 

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The U.S. Endangered Species Act gives all sea turtle species found in the U.S. federal protection. Florida laws also make it illegal to harm sea turtles, their nests or hatchlings. 

Lu is a Chinese citizen who listed a home address in Hudsonville, Michigan. The report says authorities notified the Chinese consulate in Houston about the arrest. Online records showed no attorney listed for her.

Yaqun Lu (Photo: Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department)

She is being held on a $5,000 bond, The Miami Herald reported.  

Few sea turtle hatchlings survive to adulthood, according to the National Ocean Service, with estimates from one in 1,000 to one in 10,000. 

Nearly 90% of sea turtle nesting in the U.S. happens in the Sunshine State, according to the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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