1,000 Venus Flytraps survive poaching
PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — An endangered species found only in North Carolina survives being poached.
One thousand Venus Flytraps are finally back at home after four months of rehab.
In January, officers charged four men with felonies for stealing 1,500 of them from the Holly Shelter Game Land.
It’s an endangered plant that lives in unusual conditions.
“Very specific soil and water which have to be nutrient poor, so it goes against everything you think about gardening,” Stanley Rehder Carnivorous Garden caretaker Daniel Sheret said.
Sheret says it’s more than just a plant to him.
“I’m like any little kid,” Sheret said. “It’s fascinating to watch them work and it’s just a part of nature that’s amazing.”
A fascinating plant that has value.
“They are traded and sold via the internet and collectors unfortunately,” Sheret said.
There are only 35,000 Venus Flytraps in the world, and they all live right here in North Carolina. It’s a rare plant that could put you in prison for more than two years, because in 2014 poaching a Venus Flytrap became a felony.
Investigators say four men now face that possible reality after they stole 1,500 of them from the Holly Shelter Game Land in January.
“It’s heartbreaking,” Sheret said. “If I see a dozen stolen, I’m in tears.”
That’s why Sheret spent four months trying to save every single one.
“They are integral to the environment here,” Sheret said.
With the help of Cape Fear Community College students and the City of Wilmington 1,000 of those rarities are going back to that environment.
“I think it’s a great day for all of us,” Sheret said. “We’ve got one step ahead of the bad guys.”
Sheret says while these Venus Flytraps have a new fate, those four men are now waiting for theirs.