An eco park in Sichuan province famous for its fields of lotus flowers which spread across 250,000 square metres (62 acres), has been forced to shut down as poorly-behaved tourists stripped away most of its blooming lotus flowers.
Hundreds of people have reportedly been breaking into the Longqiao Cultural and Ecological Park, picking flowers since the start of the summer blossom when the park was closed for watercourse constructions in March.
Park management had no choice but to keep the park closed for the rest of the year as there are barely any flowers left.
“Our fence has been repaired for at least five times this year,” said a manager of the park.
Fear of conflicts with tourists going viral on social media prevented the staff from taking a more active approach in stopping would-be flower thieves, who they believe to be inbound tourists from other provinces.
Opened six years ago, the Longqiao eco park has gained fame as a scenic spot in Lu county, attracting a lot of tourists every year.
Around 200 to 300 people are still believed to be sneaking into the park each day, and park management has had to increase the number of security patrols to ensure park safety and to prevent further thefts.