Visitors to the Grand Canyon have taken to leaving love locks at the spot, but the National Park Service is not happy about it. According to a post on Facebook, the locks pose a health hazard to birds and animals that live around the area. The park rangers have been cutting these locks from their fences every two years, but the dangers of this tradition are widespread for the majestic park and its wildlife. Here are the details.
The Locks and the Hazards
Love locks are a tourist activity most notably associated with Paris, but now they have made their way to the Grand Canyon. In this, travelers place their lock on the fencing at the viewpoint and often end up throwing their keys into the canyon. The National Park Service recently spoke against this new trend, urging people to stop doing this.
Apparently, the locks pose a danger to bird species like the Condor in the area that are attracted to the small and shiny padlocks. And like a child, they often try to put them in their mouths, which sometimes results in poisoning or even surgery due to choking. Park rangers are now calling the leaving of love locks a form of littering and graffiti, and strongly urge visiting tourists to stop.
The California Condors are some of the rarest birds in the world. Many of these birds, which are the largest ones in North America, call the Grand Canyon their home. In 1982, the species was nearly extinct as only 22 of these remained.
Thankfully, the number has since gone up to 500, and the birds have now been classified as endangered. But, there will be more if we reduce the number of love locks. Heed their warning!