A couple from the Hudson Valley is accused of trying to illegally keep a protected turtle as a pet.

Recently, officers from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation on foot patrol at Berean Park in the town of Lloyd noticed a man and woman fishing.

As the officer approached the couple, she noticed movement in their grocery bag. ECO Bastedo thought she would find a live fish flopping around in the bag, but instead, she discovered a live Painted Turtle, a protected species, officials say.

According to the DEC, the couple claimed they captured the turtle as a pet for their son.

Also inside the bag was allegedly an undersized largemouth bass mixed in with several legal sunfish. Neither individual could produce a valid freshwater fishing license, police say.

The couple was issued tickets for illegal possession of protected wildlife, taking undersized fish and for fishing without a freshwater fishing license, all returnable to the Town of Lloyd Court.

Once the turtle was free from the bag it quickly returned to the water and swam off, according to the DEC.

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