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Great Smoky Mountains National Park Seeks Vandals

20200919_photo_of_vandalized_foothills_parkway_sign_gsmnp.jpg
Courtesy of Great Smoky Mountains National Park
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Visitors reported seeing a black bear skin with head and a cardboard sign attached to the entrance sign that read “From here to the lake Black lives don’t matter.”";s:3:

On Saturday morning, visitors at the Foothills Parkway West Entrance in Walland, Tennessee reported seeing a black bear skin with head and a cardboard sign attached to the entrance sign that read “From here to the lake Black lives don’t matter.” 

“We encourage anyone with information to reach out to us as we continue to investigate possible motives for this incident.” says Chief Ranger Lisa Hendy. “We take vandalism incidents seriously in the park, and this particular incident is particularly egregious. It is for this reason we are offering a reward for information.” 

Officals estimate that the sign must have been added to the entrance near the Highway 321 intersection between September 18 and 19. 

The park says that people with information on the incident can call anonymously and are offering up to $5,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest, and conviction of those responsible.

Those with information can call or text the ISB Tip Line at 888-653-0009 or email nps_isb@nps.gov.

Information can also be submitted via the offial website: www.nps.gov/isb 

The investigation is ongoing and no further details will be released at this time. 

Lilly Knoepp serves as BPR’s first fulltime reporter covering Western North Carolina. She is a native of Franklin, NC who returns to WNC after serving as the assistant editor of Women@Forbes and digital producer of the Forbes podcast network. She holds a master’s degree in international journalism from the City University of New York and earned a double major from UNC-Chapel Hill in religious studies and political science.
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