National Parks are stunning pieces of land which you can definitely visit and admire, but some people can’t get enough! Buzz60’s Maria Mercedes Galuppo has more.
Microchip IDs similar to those in pets have been embedded in hundreds of cacti at Saguaro National Park to guard against theft.
Officials said the chips can be used to identify stolen saguaros, but they acknowledge the technology can’t track them. Instead, officials are counting on the devices to deter thieves.
Park officials said they spent $3,000 to chip 1,000 saguaros along the perimeter areas most accessible to visitors. That’s a small fraction of the 1.9 million saguaros in the park.
“It’s ironic that we set aside great places like Saguaro National Park and people think that they can just come take the iconic cactus for which the park is named,” said Kevin Dahl, a program manager for the National Park Conservation Association in Arizona.
The park does not have specific numbers on how many cacti have been stolen, but officials said they know it’s happening because they have found holes where the giants used to stand.