Fossilized tracks stolen from Utah’s Capitol Reef National Park

Thieves damaged and stole reptile tracks from a fossil trackway in Capitol Reef National Park. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service

May 11 (UPI) — Officials at Capitol Reef National Park in Utah are hoping to track down who’s responsible for the theft of fossils hundreds of millions of years old.

Rangers said the theft happened sometime between August 2017 and August 2018 from a prehistoric trackway within the park.

The trackway contained “irreplaceable paleontological resources,” including reptile track fossils dating from the Triassic period. This period stretched from 252 million to 201 million years ago and included one of the most severe extinction events — the Great Dying — in Earth’s history.

The park is offering $1,000 for information leading to the identification and prosecution of those responsible for removing the fossils.

“Information from other visitors is often very helpful to investigators,” the park said in a release Tuesday. “If you have information that could help recover the stolen fossils or that could help identify those responsible, the park asks you to please submit a tip.”


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