A man was arrested in Palm Beach County over the holiday weekend after state wildlife officers caught him stealing more than 100 loggerhead turtle eggs.
Officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said they found Glenn Robert Shaw, 49, taking the protected eggs on Saturday morning from a female loggerhead turtle, Local10 reported.
This came a few days after officials received reports that a man had been poaching sea turtle eggs from a beach behind a residence, the FWC wrote in a Facebook post.
“Our officers began increasing patrols in the area to monitor for illegal activity,” the post reads. “After a few days of additional patrols, officers saw a man taking eggs from a female loggerhead sea turtle as she was laying them.”
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Shaw, 49, was found with 107 eggs and was arrested immediately. He was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail, where he faces third-degree felony charges of destroying, selling or molesting turtles or eggs or nests. His bail is set at $3,000.
The conservation commission said 15 of the stolen eggs had to be kept for DNA testing. The remaining 92 were buried with the hopes they will hatch later this year.
Loggerhead sea turtles mate every two to three years with their nesting season running from April until September and peaking in June, according to the National Wildlife Foundation. During mating season, the female sea turtles surface onto beaches about once every two weeks and lay an average of four clutches of eggs, with each clutch usually containing between 100 and 120 eggs. The eggs usually hatch after about 60 days.
Loggerhead sea turtles have been listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act since 1978, according to the National Wildlife Foundation.