Wilmington's elected leaders are committed to keeping some of the state's endangered plants safe, and they voted to support making laws that persecute thefts as felons.
Wilmington City Council approved a resolution Tuesday supporting legislation making it a felony to steal a Venus Flytrap. The new law was drafted by Representative Ted Davis, according to Wilmington City Council member Laura Padgett.
The law would make Venus flytrap theft a felony in New Hanover County.
Over 1,000 flytraps were stolen from the Stanley Rehder Carnivorous Plant Garden in Wilmington last year.
Padgett hopes harsher penalties will make criminals think twice about snatching up the plants.
"People need to be punished enough to make them stop and think about it before they go in and steal them, so this will make the punishment for getting caught taking Venus flytraps in the area around Wilmington which is the only place in the world they grow naturally," Padgett said.
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