Big Bend National Park

Ancient Petroglyphs Vandalized at Big Bend National Park

Vandals caused irreparable damage to a piece of ancient artwork at Big Bend National Park, the latest in what's become an increase in vandalism, The National Parks Service says.
National Parks Service

Ancient rock art in Big Bend National Park was irreparably damaged by vandals who scratched their names across the face of prehistoric petroglyphs, the National Park Service says.

A picture provided by park officials shows what appears to read "Issac," “Ariel,” “Norma,” “Adrian” and “12-26-21” etched across the rock engravings, which are found in the Indian Head area of the park.

While some of the damage was repaired by specially trained staff, though much of the damage is permanent, the NPS said in a news release.

"National Parks are treasured lands and protect our national heritage. Graffiti is vandalism, is costly, and extremely difficult if not impossible to remove. It is also illegal," the park service said.

It's a recent sign of what's become an increase in vandalism and graffiti in the area, park managers said. More than 50 instances of vandalism have been recorded by park archeologists since 2015.

"Big Bend National Park belongs to all of us. 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."

Vandals caused irreparable damage on a piece of ancient artwork at Big Bend National Park, the latest in what's become an increase in vandalism, The National Parks Service  says.
National Parks Service
Vandals caused irreparable damage to a piece of ancient artwork at Big Bend National Park, the latest in what's become an increase in vandalism, The National Parks Service says.

Park managers are now asking anyone with information about the incidents or those involved to come forward and contact law enforcement. Tips can be submitted to the Big Bend National Park Communication Center at 432-477-1187.

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