PHILIPSBURG:--- A passenger leaving from St. Maarten to the United States was detained recently by the US Fish and Wildlife Service for not having the proper documentation for a local species of cactus which the individual had in their possession. The species of Pope’s Head Cactus was illegally dug up and transported from St. Maarten without any permission or documentation and was confiscated by US Customs and Border Patrol and handed over to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The St. Maarten Nature Foundation, as the local Management Authority for the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species was soon contacted and informed about the seizure. The Nature Foundation passed the information on the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Ministry VROMI.
The confiscated Cactus will be housed in a Botanical Garden Facility in the US until it is healthy enough to be transported back to St. Maarten where it will be replanted.