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Fossils stolen from Death Valley National Park

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Park rangers recently discovered that fossil footprints were removed from Death Valley National Park.

Trackways of mammals and birds were formed about three to five 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.

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.

“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.”

To report tips to Death Valley National Park, use any of the following resources:

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