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.
Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.