Ancient rock vandalized at Big Bend National Park in Texas

Authorities are looking for the vandals who tagged an ancient rock at Big Bend National Park in Texas last month.

Park rangers said on Dec. 26, 2021, a panel of ancient petroglyphs in the Indian Head area was damaged after vandals scratched their names and date across the prehistoric rock. 

"Graffiti is vandalism, is costly, and extremely difficult if not impossible to remove," park officials said in a news release. "It is also illegal."

Rangers added they have seen an increase in vandalism and graffiti in the area. 

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"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," Superintendent Bob Krumenaker said. "With each instance of vandalism, part of our Nation's heritage is lost forever."

Park archeologists said they have documented more than 50 instances of vandalism since 2015. They advise people not to attempt to clean up the damage but leave it up to trained staff.

They add that much of the damage is permanent. 

Damaging park resources is a violation of federal law and the Archaeological Resources Protection Act

This story was reported from Los Angeles.