Vandals break into ancient cave and destroy 2,000,000-year-old stalactites

Vandals have destroyed ancient mineral formations in an Australian cave (NSW Police)
Vandals have destroyed ancient mineral formations in an Australian cave (NSW Police)

Mindless vandals destroyed stalactites that have formed over two million years in an ancient cave in Australia.

Police in New South Wales are currently appealing for information that may help identify who caused the damage.

The Jillabenan Cave at Kosciuszko National Park extends 150 metres underground and is a popular tourist destination.

However, intruders gained access and caused devastating irreparable damage to the natural formations.

Authorities found that stalactites and speleothems – mineral formations that hang from cave ceilings – had been cut in half over a six-day period.

Using heavy-duty tools, the criminals cut the millions of years old formations down. In some cases, they were split right down the middle.

Police are appealing for information after caves within Kosciuszko National Park were broken into and damaged this month. On Saturday (23 October 2021), officers from Riverina Police District commenced an investigation after reports of damage inside a cave. Investigators have been told between Sunday 17 October 2021 and Saturday 23 October 2021, Jillabenan Cave ? a part of the Yarrangopilly Cave system ? was broken into and the stalactites and speleothems (?straws?) inside the cave were damaged. A padlock securing the doorway into the cave was removed, and the power distribution board was also damaged. As the stalactites and ?straws? within the cave are naturally formed, the damage is irreversible. Anyone with information or who may have seen anything suspicious in the area is urged to contact Tumut Police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
The caves are located within Kosciuszko National Park in New South Wales (NSW Police)

Police found the padlock securing the cave had been removed and the power distribution board had also been damaged. 

One particularly disturbing image shows a huge formation standing taller than an average adult cut completely in half.

Police are appealing for information after caves within Kosciuszko National Park were broken into and damaged this month. On Saturday (23 October 2021), officers from Riverina Police District commenced an investigation after reports of damage inside a cave. Investigators have been told between Sunday 17 October 2021 and Saturday 23 October 2021, Jillabenan Cave ? a part of the Yarrangopilly Cave system ? was broken into and the stalactites and speleothems (?straws?) inside the cave were damaged. A padlock securing the doorway into the cave was removed, and the power distribution board was also damaged. As the stalactites and ?straws? within the cave are naturally formed, the damage is irreversible. Anyone with information or who may have seen anything suspicious in the area is urged to contact Tumut Police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
A padlock securing the doorway into the cave was removed, and heavy tools were used to damage the natural formations (NSW Police)

Others show stalactites cut off onto the ground and lying in a heap.

Police are urging for the members of the public to come forward and contact Tumut Police or Crime Stoppers if they have any information.

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