Man digging for tortoises says he planned to eat them

STUART, Fla. (AP) — Florida wildlife officials say a man they found in possession of two gopher tortoises, said he didn’t want to keep them as pets — he planned to eat them.

Martin County Sheriff’s officials said they found 28-year-old Robert Lane digging into the ground Sunday pulling out gopher tortoises at Seabranch Preserve State Park.

According to a Facebook post from the sheriff’s office, Lane had just pulled out a male and female and was looking for more. He told authorities he planned to go home and eat them.

Gopher tortoises are a federally protected threatened species. They dig deep burrows for shelter.

The Sun Sentinel reports that Lane could face charges related to poaching on state property.

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