Florida Man Caught Stealing 107 Sea Turtle Eggs

kim kardashian

Stealing one’s babies is a cruel act. But it is even worse to do so as the mother is giving birth.

On Friday, a loggerhead sea turtle was laying eggs on Jupiter Island when a Florida man was arrested for taking them, according to the state wildlife and conservation commission.

Glenn Shaw, 49, was arrested that night around 10:30 pm after getting caught in the act, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) said in a statement.

According to FWC’s Facebook page, their biologists received a tip about a possible poacher. Someone was scouring sea turtle eggs from a beach behind a coastal home. After law enforcement was notified, more FWC officers patrolled northern Palm Beach County.

After a few days, officers saw Shaw scooping more than 100 eggs from the sand as the mother was laying them. He was immediately arrested and charged with a third-degree felony for endangering the protected species. Shaw was then booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on a $3,000 bond. He faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000, according to the Washington Post.

Authorities are keeping 15 of the 107 eggs as evidence for DNA testing. The rest were reburied by Wildlife biologists. They hope the eggs resembling Ping-Pong balls with a soft white shell will hatch later this year.

They typically hatch after about 60 days under normal circumstances.

“Protecting Florida’s natural resources is something we take seriously,” FWC Captain Jeff Ardelean said in a statement. “We’re thankful that this individual was prevented from doing further harm to this imperiled species.”

According to the federal U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, loggerhead turtles originating from the northwest Atlantic Ocean and the southern Atlantic Ocean are a threatened species. Whereas, in other parts of the world, the species is already listed as endangered.

Furthermore, loggerhead sea turtles only mate every two to three years, according to the National Wildlife Foundation.

During mating season, the females emerge onto beaches at night about once every two weeks to lay an average of four clutches of eggs. Each clutch roughly contains between 100 to 120 eggs.

Meanwhile, there is a thriving black market where the eggs are being sold at $20 to $30 per dozen, Ardelean told CBS.

“They’re actually stealing the raw eggs to eat them,” he said. “In a lot of cultures around Caribbean it’s legal, you can go to some countries and actually buy eggs,” he said.

However, egg poaching only occurs occasionally in Florida, according to CBS.

Even so, the FWC is asking for help to identify buyers. Anyone with information should contact the FWC by pressing *FWC from your cell phone.

About Melody Chan

Melody is an avid fan of traveling. Although she thinks the packing and unpacking process is tedious, she believes the ability to enlighten herself while visiting new places is all worth it. She has already fallen in love with the idea of one day seeing the whole world. She knows that the world's beauty extends further than what a lens can show and is so much more than just words painted on a page. But when she's not traveling, she'll have to settle for her favorite pastime, writing. She is an aspiring screenwriter and journalist.

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