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Suspects Destroy Turtle Nests and Kill Birds in Anna Maria Island

Suspects Destroy Turtle Nests and Kill Birds in Anna Maria Island
Posted at 8:31 AM, Jun 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-30 08:31:00-04

ANNA MARIA ISLAND, Fl. (WWSB)  -- Police are searching for two suspects accused of killing birds and destroying turtle nests with a motorized vehicle.

Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch & Shorebird Monitoring is asking anyone with information about a man and woman driving a motorized on the beach to notify Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach Police.

According to officials, the suspects ran over five turtle nests and killed two black skimmer chicks and injured another one. They say this is the third time golf carts, or another type of motorized vehicle, have run over nests on the beach.

The Bradenton Herald spoke with Suzi Fox, the executive director of Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch & Shorebird Monitoring, about the incident.

"According to witnesses, the people who were on the vehicle were laughing," said Fox. "Witnesses report that they aimed for the nests. You could hear the breaking of the stakes. There were a lot of people on the beach at that time. People were screaming at them to stop. It's a miracle they didn't hit any people. I'm upset about the chicks and turtles, but I am more upset that a child could have been hurt and that is unacceptable for us. We protect nature but we protect our children first."

There is currently no further information known about the suspects.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Holmes Beach Police Department or Bradenton Beach Police Department.