Deputies catch gopher tortoise poacher at state park, admits he consumes the threatened species


From MCSO: A Martin County Sheriff’s deputy answering a call reference a “man down” at Seabranch Preserve State Park in Stuart Sunday evening, quickly discovered why 28-year old Robert Lane was on the ground.

Lane had just pulled two endangered Gopher Tortoises from their hole, and was on the ground searching for others.

Lane was in possession of a male and a female gopher tortoise when deputies caught him.

He admitted to deputies that he pulled both of the tortoises from their hole and was going to take them home where he had plans to consume them.

Gopher tortoises are considered to be a threatened species and are federally protected.

The case was turned over to FWC.

Lane faces charges related to poaching on state property.

Deputies located the hole that Lane said he pulled the tortoises from, and returned both to that specific location.

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