Vandals permanently damage ancient rock art at Big Bend National Park

National and World News

BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK, Texas (KXAN) — Park rangers are looking for the vandals who destroyed ancient petroglyphs, rock etchings or carvings, at Big Bend National Park last month.

A photo from the National Park Service shows someone carved names and the date on top of one of the rock carvings at the park. The names appear to read “Ariel,” “Isaac,” “Norma,” “Adrian” and “12-26-21.”

Ancient Rock Art Vandalized (Photo courtesy National Parks Service)

“Damaging natural features and rock art destroys the very beauty and history that the American people want to protect in our parks,” said Big Bend National Park Superintendent Bob Krumenaker. “With each instance of vandalism, part of our Nation’s heritage is lost forever.”

According to the NPS, the earliest inhabitants of Big Bend lived there during the Late Paleo-Indian Period, in about 8000 to 6500 BCE.

Park managers have seen more vandalism and graffiti at the park, including several instances targeting prehistoric art. Since 2015, park workers have documented at least 50 cases of vandalism at the sites. Trained staff attempts to fix the damage, but often it is permanent.

Anyone who knows who did this vandalism is asked to contact law enforcement at the park at 432-477-1187.

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