'Black Lives Don't Matter,' Bear Skin Put At Smoky Mountains Park Sign

By Jason Hall

September 22, 2020

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is investigating a vandalizing incident that reportedly occurred at the Foothills Parkway West Entrance between September 18-19, 2020.

Visitors reported seeing a cardboard sign that read "from here to the lake black lives don't matter," as well as a black bear skin with head" attached to the park entrance sign on Saturday at around 7:45 a.m., WLOS reports.

The entrance sign is located near the Highway 321 intersection in Walland, Tennessee.

“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 in a news release via WLOS. “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.”

Investigators are seeking any additional information from parkgoers that may have noticed activity at the entrance leading up to the incident. Respondents may remain anonymous and investigators are offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of any individuals involved in the vandalism incident.

Anyone with information regarding the vandalism is advised to contact investigators in any of the following ways:

  • Call or text the IBS tip line at (888)-653-0009
  • Submit a tip online at www.nps.gov/isb and click "Submit a Tip"
  • Email nps_isb@nps.gov
  • Send a direct message on Facebook to @InvestigativeServicesNPS or Twitter @SpecialAgentNPS

Photo: Getty Images

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