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NEWTON COUNTY — National Park Service officials are looking for help in determining who damaged a cave within the Buffalo National River park.

A statement said BNR staff in August discovered “significant damage” at Fitton Cave in Newton County. The cave is near Compton.

Individuals involved in this crime forced their way into a secure entrance of the cave, and damaged, vandalized and removed many cave formations, such as stalagmites and draperies that are vital pieces of the shared natural resource heritage protected at Buffalo National River, the statement said.

“The Fitton Cave system is one of the largest in Arkansas and holds a variety of rare cave formations,” the statement said. “It is also the second most biologically diverse cave in the state. Like all caves in Buffalo National River, Fitton Cave currently is closed to the public due to White Nose Syndrome — a deadly fungus that can kill bats and be spread by people entering and exiting caves.”

Investigators are seeking information from anyone who may have knowledge about those who caused this damage. Information can be submitted to the National Park Service Investigative Services Branch (ISB) Tip Line. Information can be shared anonymously.

If you have information, you can email nps_isb@nps.gov or visit www.nps.gov/ISB and click “Submit a Tip.” You can also call or text the ISB Tip Line at 888-653-0009.

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Contributed photo

This photo shows broken stalagmites in Fitton Cave in Newton County.

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