First Thing, Daily Maverick's flagship newsletter

Join the 230 000 South Africans who read First Thing newsletter.

We'd like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick

More specifically, we'd like those who can afford to pay to start paying. What it comes down to is whether or not you value Daily Maverick. Think of us in terms of your daily cappuccino from your favourite coffee shop. It costs around R35. That’s R1,050 per month on frothy milk. Don’t get us wrong, we’re almost exclusively fuelled by coffee. BUT maybe R200 of that R1,050 could go to the journalism that’s fighting for the country?

We don’t dictate how much we’d like our readers to contribute. After all, how much you value our work is subjective (and frankly, every amount helps). At R200, you get it back in Uber Eats and ride vouchers every month, but that’s just a suggestion. A little less than a week’s worth of cappuccinos.

We can't survive on hope and our own determination. Our country is going to be considerably worse off if we don’t have a strong, sustainable news media. If you’re rejigging your budgets, and it comes to choosing between frothy milk and Daily Maverick, we hope you might reconsider that cappuccino.

We need your help. And we’re not ashamed to ask for it.

Our mission is to Defend Truth. Join Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Texas butterfly sanctuary closes due to conspiracy thre...


Butterfly sanctuary shut down

Texas butterfly sanctuary closes due to conspiracy threats

This African Blue Pansy (Junonia orithya madagascariensis) was photographed and logged by citizen scientists IC Sharp & A Sharp in KwaZulu-Natal in 2008. It is one of the butterfly species whose westward shift has been detected thanks to the contributions of citizen scientists to the Virtual Musuem’s LepiMAP project. This project generates distribution maps for species based on photographic records. (Photo: Supplied)
By Reuters
03 Feb 2022 2

Feb 2 (Reuters) - A Texas butterfly sanctuary on the Mexican border has closed to the public indefinitely following escalating threats from supporters of former President Donald Trump who are promoting a fabricated claim the sanctuary is part of sex-trafficking ring.


The National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas, announced on Wednesday it will remain closed “for the immediate future,” citing concerns for the safety of staff and visitors from the “disruption caused by false and defamatory attacks directed by political operatives.”

The indefinite closure follows a three-day shutdown last weekend that coincided with a meeting in neighboring McAllen of border security advocates that attracted Trump supporters including former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who was pardoned by Trump in his final days in office.

“We look forward to reopening, soon, when the authorities and professionals who are helping us navigate this situation give us the green light,” Jeffrey Glassberg, president and founder of the North American Butterfly Association, said in the statement.

The butterfly center made itself an enemy of Trump supporters by filing a lawsuit in 2017 against his plan to build a border wall that would infringe on its property, saying the wall would harm wildlife and cut off two-thirds of the 100-acre (40-hectare) nature preserve, “effectively destroying it.”

Executive Director Marianna Trevino-Wright has told reporters that conspiracy theorists have descended on the center in recent days, inducing two women who demanded access to off-limits areas of the nature preserve so they could see “illegals crossing on rafts.”

Trevino-Wright provided audio of the encounter in which one woman accused the butterfly center of acquiescing to children being raped and another claimed to be with the U.S. Secret Service.

A scuffle ensued in which there seemed to be a physical contact and tussle over someone grabbing a cell phone.

Others have targeted the center with social media attacks including a meme alleging the center built a dock on the northern bank of the Rio Grande in order to aid smugglers. (Reporting by Daniel Trotta)


Comments - share your knowledge and experience

Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or sign in if you are already an Insider.

Everybody has an opinion but not everyone has the knowledge and the experience to contribute meaningfully to a discussion. That’s what we want from our members. Help us learn with your expertise and insights on articles that we publish. We encourage different, respectful viewpoints to further our understanding of the world. View our comments policy here.

All Comments 2

  • So may crazies… This is what Trump unleashed. He is not one, but he is coldly cynical & enabled these ignorant, unhinged people to feel comfortable in society. This is his lasting legacy.

    • Well summed up … and the overwhelming bulk of Republican ‘leadership’ (sheepmanship – it is definitely male!) continue to endorse/embrace his cult !

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted