A Japanese couple have taken to social media to make a simple plea to the thieves who stole seven bonsai trees from them: please take care of "our children."
Seiji Iimura and his wife Fuyumi said the miniature trees were taken last month from their garden in Saitama, located near Tokyo.
"There are no words to describe how we feel," he wrote in a Facebook post. "They were precious."
The trees were worth about $90,000 and included a Shimpaku Juniper, a 400-year-old tree that had been looked after by Iimura for 25 years.
“Bonsai are like our children,” Fuyumi Iimura told the New York Times. “They are our children who have been living for 400 years. I now feel like our limbs were taken away, and miss them every day.”
The couple have begged for the thieves to water the trees, and return them.
Bonsai trees are often associated with Japan, and are considered an art form based on specific cultivation techniques, according to the BBC. The miniature plants grow in containers and require expert care.
Police are now investigating the theft, but so far have not been able to track down the thieves.
"We are sad and forlorn but we will continue to protect our Bonsai" Fuyumi Iimura wrote on Facebook. "In the meantime, we will continue cultivating trees worthy of everyone's praise."