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National Butterfly Center re-opens, weeks after threats by conspiracy theorists forced its closure

They’re coming out of their cocoon.

The National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas, reopened on Saturday, nearly three months after it was targeted by conspiracy theorists and shut its doors for “safety” reasons, the organization said.

“Everything is blooming, the mulberry tree is bustling with colorful birds, and we’re OPEN again,” tweeted the center, which gets 35,000 annual visitors.

The center sued the Trump administration in 2017 over its border wall plans, arguing the construction would destroy butterfly habitats — but its opposition to the wall drew attention from folks like the now-disgraced Brian Kolfage, the “We Build the Wall” fundraiser who recently pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges.

In 2019, Kolfage tweeted false rumors claiming the butterfly center’s director, Mаriаnnа Trevino-Wright was involved in human trafficking, according to reports.

In January, a right-wing Congressional candidate from Virginia, in the area for a rally, visited the center and had a physical confrontation with Trevino-Wright after demanding to see “migrants” crossing the Rio Grande on the center’s property.

Less than a week later, the center shut down.



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