National park seeking tips after bear skin, sign found on Foothills Parkway

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WALLAND, Tenn. (WATE) — Great Smoky Mountains National Park investigators are seeking information about a black bear skin and a cardboard sign were left at the Foothills Parkway West Entrance Sign over the weekend.

The sign reading “from here to the lake black lives don’t matter” and the bearskin with a head were left sometime between Friday night and Saturday morning. Visitors reported seeing the display at 7:45 a.m. Saturday.

“We encourage anyone with information to reach out to us as we continue to investigate possible motives for this incident,” Chief Ranger Lisa Hendy said. “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.” 

The investigation is ongoing. 

Anyone with additional information or who may have observed activity leading to the vandalism is asked to contact the National Park Service Investigative Services Branch. Investigators are offering up to $5,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of those responsible.

Respondents are asked to contact investigators by ISB Tip Line 888-653-0009, online at  www.nps.gov/isb and click “Submit a Tip,” or email nps_isb@nps.gov. You can also message the NPS ISB on Facebook and Twitter.

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