The still unknown team of bonsai thieves reportedly stole $118,000 worth of the finest trees from Iimura's collection, which has been regarded as some of the most handsome bonsai trees in the world. The botanical bandits reportedly sought out the trees with the most value, and plucked them from approximately 3,000 trees across the 12,000-acre garden. It was reportedly a 400-year-old shimpaku tree that the master hoped to enter into a contest soon.
"We are sad and forlorn but we will continue to protect our Bonsai". The plants can even fetch a higher price on the black market."We treated these miniature trees like our children", Iimura was quoted as saying. "There are no words to describe how we feel. It's like having your limbs lopped off".
Thieves in Japan have stolen seven bonsai trees from one couple, prompting a plea on social media.
Since the incident, the couple has continued to expressed their deep sadness on Facebook, and have asked those responsible for taking the trees to care for them.
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The distressed woman posted on Facebook, asking for people to keep an eye out for their beloved trees while providing care instructions for the thieves.
Seiji Imura spread word of the incident in a January 13 Facebook post, where he wrote that several of bonsai had been stolen overnight from their garden. "They can live forever-even after we're gone, if they receive the proper care" so "I want whoever took the bonsais to make sure they are watered", Fuyumi tells the outlet. It needs care and can't survive a week without water.
She explained the 400-year-old stolen tree had been taken from a mountain centuries ago by her husband's family, who shrunk it to its current form of one metre tall and around 70 centimetres wide. Bonsai trees can live for generations and are often handed down between family members.
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