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LCSO issues warning about illegal palmetto berry harvesting

LCSO issues warning about illegal palmetto berry harvesting
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Posted at 5:14 PM, Aug 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-02 17:38:14-04

The Lee County Sheriff's Office is warning people about individuals who illegally harvest palmetto berries.

Deputies say "berry pickers" frequent the palmento berry preserves in Lehigh Acres and Alva.

Authorities say they often wear protective clothing, such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts, work or rain boots, and carry a flower pot or basket.

Officials say the berries are a critical food source for several Florida species, including black bear and dear, and they can also be used for medicinal purposes.

Deputies are encouraging the public to report individuals who illegally harvest the berries by calling 239-477-1000.