Prehistoric petroglyphs permanently damaged by vandals at Big Bend National Park

Instances of vandalism and graffiti are on the rise at the park, officials say

The Big Bend National Park said ancient rock art was vandalized over the holidays. (Big Bend National Park)

Officials with the Big Bend National Park said vandals destroyed ancient art with graffiti over the holidays — and most of the damage can’t be undone.

Ancient petroglyphs in the Indian Head area of Big Bend National Park were scratched with four names and the date of Dec. 26, park officials said in a news release on Monday.

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While park staff used “highly specialized techniques” to try to fix the damage, the park said most of the graffiti is permanent.

Graffiti is illegal, yet instances of vandalism and graffiti are on the rise, the release states. Graffiti is also costly and difficult to remove.

“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,” Big Bend National Park Superintendent Bob Krumenaker said in a news release. “With each instance of vandalism, part of our Nation’s heritage is lost forever.”

Rock art and ancient cultural sites are protected under the Archaeological Resources Protection Act.

Anyone with information about the graffiti is asked to contact park law enforcement at 432-477-1187.

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About the Author

Rebecca Salinas is an award-winning digital journalist who joined KSAT in 2019. She reports on a variety of topics for KSAT 12 News.

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