Cape Cycad Society offers R10k reward after theft

Cape Town – The Western Cape Cycad Society is offering a reward of R10 000 for any information leading to the arrest of anyone linked to the theft of critically endangered cycads.

In the last three weeks 24 cycads have been stolen from the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, including 22 critically endangered Albany cycads and two Grahamstown cycads, according to a statement.

Kirstenbosch Senior Horticulturist, Phakamani Xaba, told News24 the Western Cape Cycad Society has offered a R10 000 reward that will lead to an arrest.

“Nobody has come forward yet but the Hawks are also involved and carrying out an investigation,” he said.

According to Xaba this is not the first time that cycads have been stolen at Kirstenbosch. “Encephalartos woodii suckers [stem offshoots] were being stolen and we’ve had to place cages around the plants.”

The stolen plants were aged between 11 to 23 years and were planted in the Garden three years ago, said an earlier statement.

Xaba told the Cape Times earlier in August that the plants are worth approximately R200 000.

Cycads are considered as “living fossils” and are the oldest living seed plants, having survived three mass extinction events in the earth's history.

For more interesting facts about cycads see this article.

- News24
Read more on: cape town plants
Archie Dempster 2014-08-27 11:39:03 AM
I have cycads growing in my garden so I don't know if they are scarce or not
adinparadise 2014-08-27 12:11:17 PM
Anything that can be stolen, will be stolen! Bet it's an inside job.
Nenio Makhosini 2014-08-27 12:17:04 PM
Hopefully, Chinese and other Asians countries have not started believing that cycads have some medicinal properties like they do rhino horns, or else, we are in more trouble.
Adrian Wells 2014-08-27 12:33:39 PM
Inside job
Lynette Solz 2014-08-27 05:23:39 PM
What is for sure is where ever they're going they are going to be well looked after
Dennis van Aarde 2014-08-27 08:04:59 PM
Did you not know with unemployment high it is a job for some people