Big oak vanishes under mysterious circumstances in Iļģuciems, Rīga

Residents of the Iļģuciems district in Rīga have raised the alarm about a large oak sawn in mysterious circumstances on municipal land. After photos posted by local activists, it looks like the tree was sawn professionally. Police and the City Council have also launched a case to find out what happened, Latvian Radio reported September 7.

The oak, which was more than a meter wide, has been sawn in a municipality-owned area between Riekstu and Motoru Street. These are small streets intersecting with the bustling Daugavgrīvas Street. The tree grew in an unbuilt area where other trees also grow. Around this square are apartment buildings and a furniture factory.

The Association of the neighborhoods of Dzirciems and Iļģuciems is outraged and has posted photos of the sawn-off oak on Facebook. Activists at the organization are also looking for eyewitnesses.

“I've surveyed the place myself. This hasn't been a half-hour job. People have worked for at least two hours because the sawn-off branches have been removed, it was done with technique. There are enough video surveillance cameras around. If you try, you can find it,” said Didzis Juško, a Member of the association's board of directors.

“This could indicate that someone has pursued their interests, which may be related to the surrounding plots of land or precisely this one, where in the future this tree may interfere with building prospects or land use opportunities.”

Juško also pointed out that there was no talk of possible sawing until now. Riga City Council noted that no one had been granted a felling permit in the area.

“Looting local government property is not a good sign. According to our information, no municipal authority or company has carried out the felling of the tree. It's more likely to be malicious activity. Both municipal and state police have been informed,” Council spokesman Mārtiņš Vilemsons said.

State Police have begun an inspection of what happened Thursday without providing more details.


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