Woman, 20, Photographed Riding Sea Turtle On Florida Beach Faces Five Years In Prison For Animal Cruelty

Tara West - Author

Sep. 26 2015, Updated 1:36 p.m. ET

A 20-year-old woman, Stephanie Marie Moore, is being held on a $2,000 bond after she was accused of riding a sea turtle on a Florida beach. The woman allegedly mounted the sea turtle for a photograph as she partied on the Florida beach back in July. The image was first posted to Snapchat but was later uploaded to Twitter and Facebook. The photograph of the beach debauchery eventually made its way to the police who immediately began searching for the woman illegally riding the sea turtle. Two months later, when responding to a disturbance at a home, police recognized Moore as the woman from the photograph and arrested her on a complaint of animal abuse for “molesting a marine turtle.” She now faces up to five years in prison for disturbing the protected sea creature.

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The Daily Mail reports that 20-year-old Stephanie Marie Moore allegedly hopped on the back of a sea turtle while partying at a Florida beach. Someone snapped a photo of the turtle ride and subsequently posted it to Snapchat. Though Snapchat photos are supposed to self-destruct, a screenshot of the image was secured before it was deleted. It was then posted to Twitter and Facebook. As the photo circulated across social media, animal rights organizations in Melbourne, Florida, began investigating the case along with the local police station. However, the woman in the photograph was never identified.

However, that all changed when police responded to a disturbance at a local home. When police responded to the house they immediately recognized Moore from the sea turtle riding photo and arrested her on suspicion of animal abuse.


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