NPS investigating vandalism in Newton County cave

Image: Broken stalagmites in Fitton Cave

The National Park Service is investigating significant vandalism discovered last month by Buffalo National River staff at Fitton Cave in Newton County.

The park service says individuals involved in the crime forced their way into a secure entrance of the cave and damaged, vandalized and removed many formations, such as stalagmites and draperies.

The acts destroyed vital pieces of the shared natural resource heritage protected at Buffalo National River.

The Fitton Cave system is one of the largest in Arkansas and holds a variety of rare formations. It is also the second most biologically diverse cave in the state.

Like all caves in Buffalo National River, Fitton Cave is closed to the public due to White Nose Syndrome – a deadly fungus that can kill bats and be spread by people entering and exiting caves.

Investigators are seeking information from anyone who may have knowledge about those who caused the damage. Information may be submitted to the National Park Service Investigative Services Branch (ISB) Tip Line. Information can be shared anonymously one of three ways:

Call or text the ISB Tip Line 888-653-0009

Online www.nps.gov/ISB and click “Submit a Tip”

Email nps_isb@nps.gov

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