Two Florida men arrested for possession of 500 sea turtle eggs

click to enlarge Two Florida men arrested for possession of 500 sea turtle eggs
Photo via Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Two Florida men were facing felony charges after allegedly digging up 500 sea turtle eggs to sell on the black market.

Last Wednesday, Riviera Beach residents Raymond Saunders and Carl Cobb were arrested after they were caught with 500 turtle eggs on North Hutchison Island, Florida, reports TC Palm.

Considered an aphrodisiac in some cultures, Florida has a robust black market for turtle eggs, and sellers can typically charge between $3-$5 per egg.

The stolen eggs are believed to be loggerheads, which are the most common nesting sea turtles on the Treasure Coast. Loggerheads are the only sea turtles that aren't endangered, though they're listed as threatened, meaning they're likely to become endangered in the near future. However, all types of sea turtles are protected by federal and state laws.

Florida statutes "restrict the take, possession, disturbance, mutilation, destruction, selling, transference, molestation, and harassment of marine turtles, nests or eggs."

Both men will each face two third degree felony charges, and could be charged $100 per egg, which would total about $50,000, reports the Palm Beach Post.

If you witness similar suspicious activity, or any sick or injured sea turtles, call or submit an online report to the Wildlife Alert Program.
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