A dead sea turtle was discovered in a Florida national park this week with a spear shaft through its head.
The Biscayne National Park Marine Patrol found the “poached” animal on Tuesday and are now searching for the person responsible
All species of sea turtles are threatened or endangered. They are protected under the United States Endangered Species Act of 1973 and Florida’s Marine Turtle Protection Act.
Anyone who violatesthe Endangered Species Act by harming or killing a sea turtle could face civil penalties or criminal charges resulting in up to $50,000 in fines or up to a year in prison.
In a Facebook postTuesday, the park called on the public for any information they may have about the turtle.
This is not the only sea turtle incident in Florida this month. On June 15, a woman was arrestedin Miami Beach for stomping on a sea turtle nest.
Witnesses and Miami Beach police officers saw Yaqun Lu “jabbing at the sea turtle nest” with a wooden stake “stomping all over the nest with her bare feet,” according to the arrest affidavit.
The area Lu was seen standing in was closed to the public and had a sign saying “Do not disrupt sea turtle nest.”
The Biscayne National Park is located nearby in the northern part of the Florida Keys, off the coast of Miami.