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Strange and Curious Arizona Laws

March 12, 2016 Hastings and Hastings

Every State has a few laws that seem strange or curious to other states. These are usually minor, hyper-specific laws that were made many, many years ago and have very little effect on modern life. And yet, they are still on the book! Most of the time, these laws are not enforced, but it is still good to keep them in mind. Let’s learn about a few of the morestrange and curious laws in Arizona.

Camel Country

Camels are definitely not native to the Sonoran Desert. However, it is easy to see how one would think they could be uniquely suited for this environment. At least, the United States Army believed so! In the mid-nineteenth century, they experimented with what they called the “United States Camel Corps.” In an operation out of Camp Verde, Texas, they tested the capabilities of camels for military use. Although the animals proved to be both hardy and resilient, the animals never saw live action. The program was scrapped following the civil war, and the camels were all set free. Arizona, being Texas adjacent, thus made it illegal to hunt and kill camels. It is unclear if this law was ever applied. The last sighting of a live camel was made in 1891.

Cactus Protection

This law is much less silly than the camel hunting ordinance we just discussed. The saguaro cactus, revered by most Arizonians is a unique, beautiful, and iconic plant. It takes A saguaro can live for over 90 years and grow to be over 50 feet tall. Most saguaros won’t grow their first arm until they are 50-75 years old. Here in Arizona, it is illegal by state law to harm, destroy, or move a saguaro cactus. During construction, special permits must be acquired before saguaros can be moved.