Vomiting Drunks May Have Killed the World's Rarest Fish
On April 30, three men shot through the locks and motion sensors of a security gate to enter Death Valley National Park's Devils Hole, a 40-acre detached unit of the national park that's a part of the Nevada's Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. Not only did they leave beer cans and vomit around the site, but one man swam in pool, leaving his boxers behind — and one of the world's rarest fish, the Devils Hole pupfish, dead.
Now there's a $5,000 reward being offered by the National Park Service and a $10,000 reward from the Center for Biological Diversity to whomever can help locate three wasteoids who vandalized the wildlife sanctuary habitat, all of which was caught on tape, CBS News reported. The dead fish will also undergo a necropsy to see if and how the vandalism affected the fish.
"Devils Hole pupfish have been teetering on the brink of extinction for years. The last thing they need are these idiots running amok in the last place on Earth where they still survive," Center for Biological Diversity scientist Ileene Anderson said, according to CBS News.
According to LAist, as of April, only 115 pupfish, which exist only in the hot spring-fed Devils Hole, were counted alive. Their population fluctuates throughout the year, sometimes dipping down to just a dozen and going up to 500. In 1976, the Supreme Court ruled against developers wanting to pump water from the area, so the park set up security cameras and a gate around the pool to prevent anyone opposed to the ruling from wiping out the pupfish population, the park's public information officer Abby Wines told LAist.
Officials say they are thankful that most of the damage is superficial. Although one poor fish didn't survive the vandalism, it will most likely not disrupt the entire population in the longterm, Wines said.