Great Smoky Mountains National Park entrance vandalized with ‘Black lives don’t matter’ sign

Great Smoky Mountains National Park entrance vandalized with ‘Black lives don’t matter’ sign

Officials from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are investigating after someone placed a black bear skin and a cardboard sign that read “from here to the lake black lives don’t matter,” at an entrance to the park.

The park, divided between Tennessee and North Carolina, is America’s most visited national park, according to the National Park Service.

The sign was reported by visitors on Saturday at the Foothills Parkway West Entrance Sign near the Highway 321 intersection in Walland, Tennessee.

Officials believe the entrance was vandalized some time between September 18 and September 19, according to a news release from the park.

“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 statement.

Investigators are offering up to $5,000 for information that leads to an identification, arrest and conviction, the news release said.

Hendy called this incident “particularly egregious.”

“It is for this reason we are offering a reward for information,” Hendy said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact investigators at 888-653-0009 or nps_isb@nps.gov. But the park emphasized the use of their tip portals is restricted to investigative tips only and should not be used to offer general comments or opinions on the incident.

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