A couple in Japan made the news after they sent out a truly heartbreaking plea to the anonymous thieves who took their centuries-old bonsai trees.
Seiji and Fuyumi Iimura of Saitama, Japan, have an impressive collection of about 3000 bonsai trees. Recently, they were victims of theft, during which the thieves got away with several of their most valuable trees, including a 400-year-old Shimpaku juniper tree – worth $90,000.
The trees are “deeply important” to Seiji and Fuyumi, as they wrote in a tragic Facebook post. Seiji begged anyone who’d seen the trees to let them know.
The thieves took seven specimens total, a total value of well over $100,000. Bonsai theft is apparently a common problem for growers in Japan, since the small trees can be sold for quite a lot of money outside of the country.
Knowing that they may never see their precious bonsai trees again, Seiji and Fuyumi begged the thieves to at least take good care of the trees while they possess them. The Shimpaku juniper tree, for example, cannot survive a week without water.
“These bonsai that we raised like children,” Fuyumi wrote. “Are they being watered properly?”
Unfortunately, not a single tree has been found so far – but the Iimuras’ heartfelt pleas have people all over the world sympathizing with the gardening couple.