Teen vandals destroy koi pond, try to harm fish at Salt Lake City business

Aug 14, 2022, 6:00 PM | Updated: Aug 15, 2022, 8:53 am

SALT LAKE CITY — A plant nursery in Salt Lake City was broken into and vandalized Friday night.

For three straight nights, general manager Kathy Harbin said a group of five to six people broke into Cactus & Tropicals, trashed their koi pond and terrorized the animals who live at the nursery.

“Those kids were chasing the cat; you can just see them chasing him around,” Harbin said. “The fish in the pond are our pets as well. Some of them have been in there for more than 20 years. They have personalities, they recognize us.”

She said the vandals attempted to kill the fish swimming inside the pond.

“They poured a lot of toxic chemicals into the pond, ant poison and different fertilizers,” Harbin said. She said surveillance footage caught them using metal stakes and brooms inside the pond.

Harbin reported the incident to police, and to find out who was responsible, she and her team posted the images on social media.

She said they immediately had tips from people in the community, and one of the teenagers confessed online.

‘We feel like if it weren’t for social media, we probably wouldn’t have found out who they are,” Harbin said.

She said the cleanup was extensive. The group left several hoses running, which led to flooding inside the business.

Harbin said her employees found the pond, with the fish still inside, murky, with an unusual smell.

“We knew we had to get them out right away. The guys put on rubber boots and went in there, and we spent a couple of hours trying to catch them,” she explained.

Harbin said all of the fish survived without any noticeable harm done. After being placed in freshwater, they were reintroduced to the repaired pond.

“I don’t know they understand the impact it has on so many people; we had employees that were in tears,” Harbin said. “There are people who, every day, they come in here and try to make this a beautiful space.”

Harbin said she turned in the reported names to police.

“I hope they are held accountable at some level because it feels like, if they’re able to do that to living things, they need some help,” she said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

(Derek Petersen/KSL TV)...
Casey Scott, KSL TV

Ogden High community supporting football coach after ALS diagnosis

Casey Scott was live at Ogden High School on Monday, talking about one beloved football coach and what it means to be Thompson Tough.
29 days ago
(Salt Lake City Police Department)...
Josh Ellis

Police: Three arrested after aggravated robbery in SLC

Three people who allegedly worked together to rob a man at gunpoint at a Salt Lake City hotel have been arrested, according to police.
29 days ago
(John Knecht)...
Josh Ellis

Two children, driver killed in Provo auto-pedestrian crash

Two children under the age of 11 and one adult have died following a crash, according to Provo police.
29 days ago
Jed Boal

Father of volleyball player subjected to racism: ‘You have to call racism out at every turn’

Two days after a Duke University volleyball player was targeted with racial heckling at a game at Brigham Young University, the player’s father is urging everyone to call out racism whenever it happens.
1 month ago
Charles Jerome Glover with his family (Josh Unice/GoFundMe.com)...
Kiersten Nunez

Young father killed in Tooele County race

A young father was killed this weekend after a terrible accident at a desert-type race in Tooele County.
1 month ago
FILE: Outside the decommissioned Draper Prison....
Eliza Pace

Utah inmate death being investigated as homicide

A man's death at the Central Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison is being investigated as a homicide.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
cyber security through multi factor authentication setup...
Les Olson IT

How multi factor authentication setup helps companies stay safe

Multi factor authentication (MFA) setup is an important security measure that every company should implement for their workers. It’s also wise to install it for your personal and home accounts.
Teen vandals destroy koi pond, try to harm fish at Salt Lake City business