DEATH VALLEY (CBSLA.com) — Investigators with the National Park Service need the public’s help to identify at least two men seen in the area where fossil footprints were stolen in Death Valley National Park.

The fossil footprints, tracks formed about 3 to 5 million years ago in a muddy lake shore area by mammals and birds, were removed recently from the park, said Linda Slater, National Parks Service spokeswoman Linda Slater said. Scientists who visit the area regularly discovered the fossils were missing during a recent visit and reported it to park rangers.

death valley camelid tracks 2 Fossil Footprints Stolen From Death Valley National Park

An example of fossilized footprints that can be seen in Death Valley National Park. (credit: National Park Service)

“It’s illegal to collect fossils, rocks, or anything else in national parks,” Park Superintendent Mike Reynolds said in a statement. “The purpose of national parks is to conserve the landscape and everything it contains for the next generation. I ask that visitors come and enjoy all there is to see, and leave it unimpaired for others to enjoy.”

deva img 0064 cropped Fossil Footprints Stolen From Death Valley National Park

(credit: National Park Service)

Investigators released images of backpackers who were photographed in the area where the fossils were removed from the park. They were not called suspects in the theft, but investigators say they may have witnessed the crime or have information about those responsible.

Anyone with information about the men’s identities can contact the park’s investigative services branch at (888) 653-0009.

A reward of up to $1,000 was offered for information leading to the identification, arrest, and conviction of those responsible for the thefts.

isbfossils Fossil Footprints Stolen From Death Valley National Park

(credit: National Park Service)

Comments

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS Los Angeles

facebook.com/CBSLA
Plan Your Trip

Watch & Listen LIVE