National park microchips cacti

You've heard about microchipping pets to protect them if they get lost or stolen and even attaching trackers to kids clothing or phones but what about microchipping a cactus?

That's exactly what an Arizona National Park is doing.  Saguaro National Park is worried about cactus poaching.

Ray O'Neil is the chief ranger of the park. He says, for years, there was belief that people were cactus poaching.  that's why the park has microchpped hundred of their cacti.  The hope is to cut down on the number of stolen saguaros.

"We're losing Saguaro cactus. We're losing the namesake of the park. We're losing the reason the park was established, O'Neil says.

Park officials say saguaros are valued at about a hundred dollars a foot.

The process is basically the same as microchipping a pet.  The chip is inserted into the cactus and when scanned, the chip reader gives the ID number which can lead to the exact coordinates the cactus was taken from.

The program aims to bring a sharp decline in criminal activity.

"We want people to think about that if they're thinking of taking cactus from the park," O'Neil says.

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