Paraguay’s giant lily pads make a return from extinction

After being listed as endangered in 2006, the giant lily pads endemic to Paraguay have made a welcome return.

The queen of waterlilies, Paraguay’s giant lily pads which measure as much as 1.5m across have made a reappearance in a tributary of the Paraguay river, 25 km north of the capital Asunción.

According to a report by the BBC, the environment ministry of Paraguay said that the plant had slowly disappeared due to dredging and visitors collecting the plants.

But their return is now drawing a mass of tourists who pay for boat rides to watch the lilies up close and to take pictures.

“I have lived in the area since I was a child. The neighbours and I thought the plant had already become extinct, but it has returned,” said Antonio Benítez, a local resident.

Locals use the giant water lilies to make a medicinal tea, but the authorities have warned that those who try to harvest it could be fined.

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