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Officials: Man cited for taking federally protected coral from the Florida Keys

The FWC was tipped off that someone had the coral sitting out on a balcony.
Credit: Mote Marine Laboratory

KEY LARGO, Fla. — Editor's note: This image is not of the pieces accused of being stolen, but a generic image of wild staghorn coral.

Authorities say a North Carolina man visiting the Florida Keys stole large pieces of federally protected coral.

The Miami Herald reports that Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers responded Wednesday night to a Key Largo condominium complex and issued the man a notice to appear in court for violating the Endangered Species Act

FWC investigators had been tipped off that someone had coral out on a balcony at the Landings of Largo. Officers identified it as staghorn coral

The man told officers he was in the Keys for the two-day lobster mini-season, which ended Thursday night. 

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