Park rangers recently discovered that fossil footprints were removed from Death Valley National Park.
Trackways of mammals and birds were formed about 3 million to 5 million years ago, when the animals left footprints in a muddy lakeshore area.
Scientists visit the area regularly, photographing and recording the exact location of each footprint. They discovered the fossils were missing during a recent visit and reported it to park rangers.
“It’s illegal to collect fossils, rocks or anything else in National Parks,” said Park Superintendent Mike Reynolds. “The purpose of National Parks is to conserve the landscape and everything it contains for the next generation. I ask that visitors come and enjoy all there is to see, and to leave it unimpaired for others to enjoy.”
Backpackers in the area were photographed and may have witnessed the crime or have information about those responsible. Investigators are offering up to $1,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of those responsible.
If you have information that could help investigators, please contact the Investigative Services Branch. Though you may remain anonymous, investigators are offering up to $1,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest, and conviction of those responsible.
Those with information can call the ISB Tip Line 888-653-0009, text 202-379-4761, visit www.nps.gov/isb and click “Submit a Tip,” email email@example.com or message via Facebook @InvestigativeServicesNPS or Twitter @SpecialAgentNPS.