Florida Woman Arrested On Suspicion Of Riding A Sea Turtle

Two women were seen in pictures sitting on sea turtles during nesting season in July. Police said they arrested one of the women Saturday.

A Florida woman suspected of riding a sea turtle and posting the pictures online was arrested Saturday, according to the Melbourne Police Department.

The pictures, which appeared to be originally posted on Snapchat in July but then spread throughout social media, showed two women sitting on the turtles like they were riding them.

They also sparked an investigation by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission because the Marine Turtle Protection Act makes it illegal to harm or harass marine turtles that are nesting.

Officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission patrol the beaches in June and July to make sure the turtles are able to come into the sand and lay their eggs.

According to the agency, there was a higher than normal number of "false crawls" by turtles on the beach this year - where turtles come out of the water to lay eggs, but return to the water without nesting. This usually happens when the turtles are disturbed.

Stephanie Marie Moore, 20, was arrested Saturday by Melbourne Police after they were called for a disturbance, the department reported.

She was wanted on a warrant for disturbing the turtles. Police did not release information regarding the second woman who was seen in the pictures.

Moore was booked in Brevard County Jail and held in lieu of $2,000 bail.