Despite a picture of vandalism in a cave that was shared on social media the Ritidian Wildlife Refuge has presented evidence that the graffiti is old vandalism that dates back to 1975.
Refuge manager Larisa Ford sent out a press release stating that they completed a survey of both the star cave and lower cave on the refuge and found no evidence of recent vandalism in either cave. Over the weekend local artist Raph Unpingco and a group of friends took pictures of what appeared to them to be fresh graffiti on the inside of what is known as the lower cave. According to the refuge manager this graffiti was photographed and documented by UOG archaeologist Dr. Mike Carson. The picture taken by Dr. Carson shows an initial and the date ’75 Dec below a piece of graffiti. Although the graffiti is old, Unpingo says it’s still very disappointing.
“It’s really disheartening you know there’s not much left as far as history here I mean we’re in a very humid climate a lot of things disappear,” said Unpingco adding, “I think this is a learning situation. I think we should learn about the importance of antiquity, the importance of our artifacts and why it’s important to share the knowledge about it.”
Ford says that if any visitor of the refuge suspects vandalism they should report it to refuge staff, call 355-5096 or email Dr. Ford at [email protected]