Succulent poachers of South Africa
In South Africa, plant poachers supplying a burgeoning international market for ornamental succulents are digging up and exporting wild plants by the tens of thousands and pushing certain species towards extinction. In particular demand are conophytums, a genus of peculiar pebble-like plants sometimes referred to as dumplings. The scale of the problem is enormous, with police making arrests almost on a weekly basis. Wildlife officials believe the trade in illegal succulents could now be more lucrative than the illegal rhino horn trade. But with limited resources at their disposal and vast areas of wilderness to patrol, law enforcement agencies are struggling to bring the poaching spree under control.