Large saguaro damaged by multiple blasts from shotgun

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This saguaro cactus in the Saguaro National Park was shot multiple times by a vandal. (Source: U.S. National Park Service) This saguaro cactus in the Saguaro National Park was shot multiple times by a vandal. (Source: U.S. National Park Service)
(Source: U.S. National Park Service) (Source: U.S. National Park Service)
(Source: U.S. National Park Service) (Source: U.S. National Park Service)
(Source: U.S. National Park Service) (Source: U.S. National Park Service)
TUCSON, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Authorities need help to find out who vandalized a large saguaro cactus in Saguaro National Park in Tucson.

Saguaro National Park said a science crew working in the west district discovered the cactus, which appeared to have been damaged by multiple blasts from a shotgun.

“There was significant damage to the main stem and one of the branches on the large and mature saguaro,” according to Chief Ranger O’Neil. “It is too soon to tell, but we are expecting that the damage is lethal for this old sentinel in the Sonoran Desert.”

The injured saguaro is estimated to be 100 to 150 years old, which means it was a seedling before Arizona became a state.

Near the cactus, the science crew observed shotgun casings on the ground and it appears that the saguaro may have been shot up to 14 times. The damaged saguaro cactus is located north of the Golden Gate Road just off of Sandario Road. Scientists believe the damage occurred at least one week ago, possibly within the last four weeks. The shells have been collected for evidence and have been sent for forensic testing.

"If you can help, please contact us," Saguaro National Park said in a Facebook post. "You don't have to tell us who you are, but please tell us what you know."

Anyone with information is asked to call or text the U.S. National Park Service tip line at 888-653-0009, email nps_isb@nps.gov or visit HERE.

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