Brave K-9 Dog Stops Theft Of Rare And Endangered Orchids In Florida

A keen and brave K-9 dog recently busted an orchid thief and South Florida.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shared about the incident Facebook post, explaining that K-9 Susan was called to the scene of a crime in a state park.

Photo: Facebook/MyFWC Florida Fish and Wildlife

Apparently, people were actively digging up plants in the park, something that’s not only illegal but can be devastating to the environment and conservation.

The post explained, “Stealing plants? Seriously?! These thieves were after a super rare plant, the ghost orchid! The only place in the world you can find these are in south Florida and Cuba.”

Photo: Facebook/MyFWC Florida Fish and Wildlife

They went on to say, “When K-9 Susan arrived on scene and sniffed out a bag containing stolen ribbon orchids and one ghost orchid, the thieves were cited, and the plants were safely returned to their state park home. This is an incredible once-in-a-lifetime case for our officers!”

They added that “Ghost orchids are so rare that a book was written about a real-life theft ring in Fakahatchee Strand Florida State Parks titled ‘The Orchid Thief.'”

Photo: Facebook/MyFWC Florida Fish and Wildlife

According to the National Park Service, the ghost orchid (Dendrophylax lindenii blooms in June and July
and has become a symbol of the South Florida landscape.

The NPS wrote: “Habitat destruction and hydrologic changes due to human development in South Florida have been partially responsible for the decline of ghost orchid populations. Also, over-collecting has had a negative impact on this special plant. The ghost orchid is now protected in many public land areas in South Florida, including Big Cypress National Preserve. With continued protection, the ghost and other orchids will continue to inhabit the unique mosaic of ecosystems that is South Florida.”

Thanks to K-9 Susan, South Florida has one more ghost orchid to dot the landscape.

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