Half dozen cacti chopped at Pima Canyon Trail, search is on for - Tucson News Now

Half dozen cacti chopped at Pima Canyon Trail, search is on for vandals

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The search is on for vandals who hacked down a half dozen cacti at Pima County hiking trail. It happened at Pima Canyon Trail.

In the sea of cacti, Saguaros stand tall. But, down below, one is chopped into pieces.

"Look at the saguaro stems here, the ribs have all been cut sharply," said Doug Siegel, Pima County Park and Recreation.

It's one of about six saguaros vandalized at Pima Canyon Trail.

"I'm just disappointed that anyone can destroy nature like this," said Siegel.

Cisiany Olivar, a hiker, said, "We actually noticed it and stopped."

For some visitors, it's heartbreaking to see the damage.

"It's just sad that anyone would want to go destroy a plant," said Lynda Anzaldua, a hiker.

The trail has fallen victim to other vandalism in the past. One bridge is tagged and someone ripped off a brass plaque at the entrance to likely trade it in for cash.

With theft of cacti on the rise, Park Service  workers have begun installing micro-chips into some of the saguaro.

The crimes have upset visitors and county officials are now urging hikers to keep a closer eye.

"Take care of what we have and make sure it's around for other people to use," said Olivar.

Pima County SHeriff's were called but took no report. The vandal responsible could face 6 months in prison and have to pay a $5,000 fine for each plant.

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