A woman is now facing felony charges after disturbing a sea turtle nest.
The woman was identified as Yaqun Lu, 41, who is a Chinese citizen with a home address listed in Michigan. She is facing a felony charge of molesting marine turtles or eggs and is being held on a $5,000 bond.
The turtle nesting area that Lu was disturbing is located in Miami Beach, Florida, and is roped off from the public with sticks and yellow tape. Lu pulled up one of the wooden sticks to disturb the nest.
Almost 90% of sea turtle nesting in the U.S. occurs in Florida. Some of the protected species of sea turtles nest in Miami Beach from April through November.
They are protected by Florida laws, and also have federal protection from the U.S. Endangered Species Act. According to the National Ocean Service, few sea turtle hatchlings actually survive into adulthood, estimating only about 1 in 1,000 to 1 in 10,000.
In the case of the nest that Lu was seen stomping around, luckily none of the eggs were damaged, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.