A park in Sichuan, China will be closed for the rest of 2019 after tourists stripped it bare of lotus flowers.
According to South China Morning Post, the Longqiao Cultural and Ecological Park boasted huge fields covered in flowering lotus plants of about 250,000 square metres.
The park was closed in March for construction work, and was due to open soon.
But park managers are forced to postpone the re-opening after "hundreds" of tourists broke into the grounds to steal the lotus flowers for themselves.
Pictures on Weibo showed tourists climbing fences or holes cut out in the fences, and cutting down the lotus flowers.
Security measures bypassed
A staff member at the park said that despite security measures such as security guards on patrol, tourists still stole the flowers.
"We cannot control the tourists," he said.
He added that there was little point in re-opening the park as there were practically no flowers left.
An estimated 200 to 300 people are still breaking into the park, presumably to hunt for the remaining flowers.
Top image from Red Star News.