The National Butterfly Center is struggling like a bug with wet wings.
The Center, located in Mission, Texas, announced Wednesday that it would close indefinitely in response to harassment and threats from right-wingers obsessed with its location. The wildlife refuge has been a favorite target of conspiracy theorists supporting Steve Bannon’s ‘We Build The Wall’ campaign after the sanctuary’s executive director and staff opposed Donald Trump’s plan to build a border wall straight through it. A longshot MAGA congressional candidate was caught on tape menacing park staff just days ago.
The Center’s executive director, Marianna Treviño-Wright, told HuffPo that her hand had been forced by “the stochastic terrorism that all of these political operatives are trying to stir up against us.”
“We regret to announce that the National Butterfly Center will be closed to the public—both members and visitors—for the immediate future,” wrote Dr. Jeffrey Glassberg, president of the North American Butterfly Association, citing “recent events targeting the center” and linking to a story about threats against it.
A nearby rally held by QAnon believers and supporters of former president Donald Trump over the weekend had already forced the Center to close Friday to Monday. “We look forward to reopening, soon, when the authorities and professionals who are helping us navigate this situation give us the green light,” Glassberg said.
The statement included a screenshot of a tweet from a right-wing personality at the park as an example. The tweet from Ben Bergquam, a correspondent for Real America Voice, a far-right site that hosts Steve Bannon’s “War Room” podcast, read:
“I join Christie Hutcherson with Women Fighting for America at the National Butterfly Center in Mission TX to demand Joe Biden stop the illegal invasion to save the butterflies! If that’s what it’s going to take because we know Democrats don’t care about the children!”