Death Valley: Rare Devil's Hole Pupfish Dead After Park Break-In
Death Valley: Rare Devil's Hole Pupfish Dead After Park Break-In

Death Valley: Rare Devil’s Hole Pupfish Dead After Park Break-In (Video)

Vandals Sought in Death Valley Rampage That Includes Gunfire, Vomit and Dead Pupfish.

This is the moment suspected vandals break into a Death Valley oasis where their drunken antics may have resulted in the death of one of the world’s rarest fish.

The park service had released surveillance images of three men who drove an off-highway vehicle around a secured gate at the Devils Hole parking lot and had a party on the night of April 30.

Park employees found the dead fish and vandalized site the following Monday and began to investigate. A necropsy is being performed on the pupfish to determine whether the vandals’ actions may have caused the death, the park service said.

The park service found beer cans and vomit on the site, as well as one of the men’s boxer shorts in the Devils Hole water. The men shot signs, the locks on two gates and a motion sensor on the security system, discharging a firearm at least 10 times, the park service said. The men attempted to destroy the security system by shooting the motion sensor and by removing cables from two cameras, but parts of the system continued to function during their entire time at Devils Hole.

The park service is working with investigators from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Nye County Sheriff’s Office on the case. Although the suspects have been identified, no arrests have been made, and the investigation was ongoing as of Tuesday evening.

Only 115 pupfish were counted in last month’s population survey, and one of those was found dead after the incident. Devils Hole is their only natural habitat.


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