Carlos Argenis Hernandez was sentenced to 30 days in jail for knowingly disturbing a sea turtle, an endangered species.
A man in Florida who was arrested in July 2015 for knowingly disturbing a sea turtle was sentenced October 5 to 30 days in jail. Carlos Argenis Hernandez was snorkeling in Florida when he lifted a sea turtle out of the water and placed it on a rock, according to 10 News Florida. Others on the rock took pictures of the turtle stuck on the rock, and Hernandez, restraining the turtle before he placed the reptile on the rock.
Florida’s Marine Turtle Protection Act, as well as the Endangered Species Act, prohibits anyone, for any reason, from disturbing sea turtles without a permit, or taking and selling sea turtles or their eggs.
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In 2013, Kennedy brothers Max and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. spent more than 30 minutes untangling a leatherback turtle from a buoy line in Nantucket Sound. While they thought what they were doing was the right thing, they were in violation of the Endangered Species Act because they lacked the permit to save the reptile.
"When we spotted a sea turtle in trouble over the 4th of July weekend, our first impulse was to do what we could to help free the animal," Robert F. Kennedy said in a statement at the time. "But we realize that the action we took was pretty risky, these are large, powerful animals."
"For both the animal and your own safety, we encourage any member of the public who encounters an entangled sea turtle or marine mammal to call NOAA Fisheries' disentanglement hotline," Kennedy said. That number is (866) 755-6622.