A sea turtle had its shell ripped from its body, and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials are looking for the two men who did it.
According to News4Jax, the body of a juvenile green sea turtle was found washed up in Jacksonville Beach off of 34th Street South on June 8.
Beaches Sea Turtle Patrol members received word that two men took the shell off of the sea turtle.
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“It’s absolutely people simply not knowing and understanding the impacts that they are making,” patrol member Mary Mills told News4Jax. “I’m sure they did it in ignorance.”
According to Mills, the shell could have told biologists how the turtle died. But now, they may never know.
Green sea turtles are one of five species found in Florida, but all of them are protected by the state. It’s illegal to handle turtles and their eggs or disturb their nests. Dozens of counties and cities, including the cities on Anna Maria Island, also have ordinances to control beach lighting during turtle nesting season, which runs from May through October.
Anyone who sees a distressed sea turtle or someone who is disturbing sea turtles can contact the FWC’s Division of Law Enforcement at 1-888-404-3922 or dial *FWC.