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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Alderman Park was a place that students from nearby Alderman Elementary could come to view the Venus Flytraps’ beauty, and learn about the carnivorous plants, up until now.

“I looked around and it looked like they pulled roots,” Alderman Elementary student Dean Culbreth said.

He visited the park often with his classmates, but now he says it doesn’t look the same to him.

“It’s like, half is just not there anymore,” he adds.

Nearly 90% of the park’s Venus Flytrap population is missing. Geologist Phil Garwood says this loss is devastating.

“If you break part of a chain, the chain gets weaker. So what happens here, if you start taking part of this away, it will weaken the rest of the environment,” he says.

But Garwood is hopeful about rebuilding the sanctuary.

“I think that from every crisis, comes a moment when things are going to just take off. I think in a way, we’re going to do much better now,” he adds.

With words of encouragement, and donations pouring in from all over the world, success is only a few blooms away.

Garwood says “people from British Columbia, Virginia, Europe, have already e-mailed us saying, ‘what can we do to help?'”

Garwood says they are coming up with new ways to make sure these plants will stay put.

Anyone with information on who may be stealing the Venus Flytraps is asked to call the Wilmington Police Department.

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