120 Sea Turtle Eggs Found in Backpack
The eggs are being re-buried in the hopes they will hatch
NETANYA, ISRAEL - JUNE 28: Israeli marine biologist Yaniv Levy removes eggs from a the 40cm deep nest left behind by a female turtle the previous night in a Mediterranean beach, during his early morning nest patrol June 28, 2006 near the central Israeli city of Netanya. Every morning during the nesting season of the rare Green turtles and the somewhat more prevalent Loggerhead turtles, Levy and his associates from the Nature and Parks Authority search Israel's 190 kilometers of Mediterranean coastline, from the Lebanese border in the north to the Gaza Strip in the south, looking for telltale signs of a nest. In their struggle to protect the species, whose numbers have dwindled in the Mediterranean to an estimated 350 nesting female Green turtles and about 2500 nesting female Loggerheads, the ecologists then empty the nests and carefully transplant the fragile eggs to one of five protected hatcheries along the coast. Some two months later, far removed from man-made obstacles and protected from their natural predators such as crabs, foxes and birds, the hatchlings make their race to the sea with the hope than more than 20 years later they will return to the same beach to ensure the species survival. (Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images)
Updated at 1:45 PM EDT on Saturday, Aug 28, 2010
Authorities are reburying about 120 sea turtle eggs after they were found in a backpack in South Florida.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Friday the backpack belonged to Kenneth Coleman, who was arrested on charges of resisting arrest and obstruction of justice after he fled on a bicycle when stopped by an officer.
He also faces federal charges, including one count of violating the endangered species act.
Some cultures consider the eggs to be an aphrodisiac and they can also be baked for food and used for religious purposes. Authorities say they are sold for up $36 a dozen on the black market.
It was not immediately known if Coleman had attorney.
The eggs are being reburied in the hopes that they will hatch. Florida, home to 90% of loggerhead sea turtle nests in the U.S., recently recorded its fourth-worst nesting season on record.
Published at 1:41 PM EDT on Aug 28, 2010
Copyright Associated Press / NBC 6 South Florida