Rangers Want No More 'Love Locks' at Grand Canyon

People are putting padlocks on fencing, then throwing the key into the canyon, a risk to wildlife
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2023 2:45 PM CDT
Rangers Want No More 'Love Locks' at Grand Canyon
An X-ray of a condor shows coins lodged in its digestive tract. The National Park Service says surgery was required to clear the obstructions, which could have been fatal.   (National Park Service)

If you love Grand Canyon National Park's wildlife, set it free, rangers ask—more or less. They say the trend of putting padlocks on park fencing and throwing the keys or coins, even, from the rim as an expression of affection for someone endangers wildlife, Fox Weather reports. "People think putting a lock on fencing at viewpoints is a great way to show love for another person. It's not," rangers posted on Facebook. The practice of tossing the padlock key into the canyon poses a risk to the park's rare and endangered animals such as condors, the post said.

Condors and other species are attracted to shiny objects and sometimes eat keys and coins, per People. "Condors are not meant to digest metal," said the post, which included an X-ray showing "coins lodged in the digestive tract" of a condor. Promoted in social media posts, the "love locks" trend also has surfaced at New York's Brooklyn Bridge and a Paris bridge, the Pont des Arts. The rangers said they'll keep removing the padlocks. "Love is strong, but it is not as strong as our bolt cutters," they wrote. (More Grand Canyon National Park stories.)

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