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

[FILE] Jail Handcuffs (KSL-TV)...
Michael Houck

Magna school teacher arrested for sexual abuse charges

A first-grade teacher is facing four felony charges of aggravated sexual abuse of a child.
20 hours ago
A group of students touring Alta View Hospital in Sandy. (Mark Less)...
Alex Cabrero

Black Physicians of Utah host Medicine Immersion Day

A local organization is encouraging Utah's Black youth to consider a career field in health and medicine to diversify the medical field.
20 hours ago
The Belvedere building, 29 S. State St (Andrew Adams)...
Andrew Adams

Bats in the Belvedere in Salt Lake City test positive for rabies

Bats in the Belvedere in Salt Lake City are testing positive for rabies, health officials warn residents and locals to use caution.
20 hours ago
"There are many rumors going around about a fight last night at the Hillcrest football game. We wou...
Brooke Williams

Rumors of a weapon at Hillcrest High School football game put to rest

Rumors of a weapon at a Hillcrest High School football game are put to rest.
20 hours ago
FILE PHOTO (Salt Lake City School District)...
Brooke Williams

Highland High School makes sure all students can participate in homecoming dance Saturday

“We are happy to announce that this year’s Homecoming Dance is FREE. Dresses, suits, transportation, and a free Chick-fil-A dinner will make for a fun tradition for all students to enjoy.”
20 hours ago
Follow @KSL_AlexCabrero...
Alex Cabrero

BYU premieres documentary ‘The Black 14: Healing Hearts and Feeding Souls’

There's a lot of history with BYU football. Saturday’s game against Wyoming in Provo will bring some of that history back. It's a story many people might not know, which is why BYU journalism students did a documentary on it, called The Black 14.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
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 […]
Teen vandals destroy koi pond, try to harm fish at Salt Lake City business