A Florida man was taken under arrest after the local biologists reported to the police seeing someone poaching loggerhead sea turtle eggs from the beach.
The officers increased the patrols and started to monitor for any illegal activity. In a few days, the police discovered the man taking turtle eggs from a female sea turtle.
Loggerhead sea turtles reach sexual maturity at 17 years of age and migrate thousands of miles to arrive at their breeding sites. They mate at sea, and the adult females return to land to lay eggs. The small animals breed every two or four years.
In order to find the most suitable place to lay the eggs, the female wanders the beach, usually during the night time, and chooses a spot to dig the nest, which is generally up to 20 inches deep. After laying the eggs, the female turtle covers the hole with sand and uses vegetation to camouflage it.
Because loggerhead turtles are so careful to hide their nests, the man had to follow the animal and then take the eggs just after the unaware small animal laid them.
After being seized by the police officers, the turtle eggs thief was charged with a third-degree felony. The man now faces up to five years in prison and a fine of $5,000.
The police discovered no less than 107 eggs at the man’s house. Out of them, 15 were kept by the police as evidence, and the rest of them were handed over to the biologists.
The remaining loggerhead sea turtle eggs will be reburied, as the biologists hope they will hatch somewhat later this year.
The incubation period takes around 50 to 60 days, which means that the small turtles will emerge from their nest the beginning of autumn. However, as an evolutionary protective measure, the hatchlings will come out only during nighttime in order to avoid predators.
An interesting thing about sea turtle eggs is their thermal sensitivity. Warm temperature produces female hatchlings, and cold temperature favors male hatchlings.
The marine biologists and wildlife organizations representatives recommend remaining at a safe distance from wildlife and not involving in any activities that might perturb their habitats.
The loggerhead sea turtle is considered to be a vulnerable species because of the fact that beaches, their preferred location for breeding, are invaded by human activity.
Image Source: Public Domain Image
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