REPORT: National Park Finds 9 Pounds Of Human Waste, Graffiti And Carvings On Beloved Nature Trail

Zion National Park. Photo by DANIEL SLIM:AFP via Getty Images

Melanie Wilcox Contributor
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A park ranger at Zion National Park picked up 14 pounds of trash on a popular trail, including at least nine pounds of human waste, The Miami Herald reported.

“I picked up 14 pounds of trash (9 pounds were human waste) and cleaned probably 1,000 handprints or etchings in less than a mile,” the ranger said, The Miami Herald reported. “While it hurts to see such a unique and beautiful place treated like this, I feel honored that I have the responsibility to protect it.”

Rangers had stopped patrolling the area in the summer after the National Park Service reported increased bacteria in the region, The Idaho Statesman reported. The park rangers only found the human waste and graffiti in one of America’s most-visited national park after the toxin risk decreased, The Miami Herald reported. About 450,000 people visited Zion National Park in July, according to park data. (RELATED: Tourists Are Reportedly Littering Million-Year-Old Caves With Discarded Facemasks)

The sedimentary rock layers in Zion National Park were deposited about 110 to 270 million years ago, according to park data. “Graffiti and other forms of damage to park resources are harmful and illegal,” according to a Facebook post by Zion National Park. The Facebook post also includes a number to a Tip Line to call – (888) 653-0009 – in case anyone knows who has been damaging the ancient geological formations.

“Repair of vandalized sites is costly and time consuming,” the Facebook post states. “Often, a damaged site can never be fully restored to its original condition.”