Vandals strike a DLNR greenhouse, home to extremely rare native plants

Vandals strike a DLNR greenhouse, home to extremely rare native plants
The person responsible cut their way through to gain access, and damage the plants. (Source: DLNR)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Authorities are searching for vandals who destroyed some extremely rare native plants in Waimano.

It happened Friday night at the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife greenhouse.

State botanist Susan Ching and her team worked to preserve the plants in an effort to save the them for future generations.

Among the plants inside the vandalized warehouse was the rare opuhea. State officials say the plant is only found in the Waianae Mountains, and there is only one plant remaining in the wild.

Ching was understandably heartbroken by the work of the vandals.

“It’s unfathomable to me that we’re trying to rescue these plants and save them for future generations. And then to see them just maliciously hurt,” Ching said. “I don’t think people understand what the value is here.”

“They sliced open the greenhouse ... and then they just threw pots on the ground and they left the water running,” she added. “These were purposefully snapped,” she said pointing to a species of plant from Diamond Head, which only has seven left in existence.

An investigation is underway as the plants were federally protected.

Anyone with information on who may be responsible is asked to call the 24-hour DLNR tip line at 634-DLNR. Tips can also be submitted via the free DLNRTip app for smartphones.

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