“Love is strong, but our bolt cutters are stronger,” says a new post on Facebook from the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, USA.
The park management is concerned about “love locks.” If you’re a frequent traveler, you’ve probably seen these locks hung on metal fences, often adorned with the names or initials of couples. The keys to these locks are typically thrown into a nearby body of water.
For some reason, many people believe that such locks bring luck to their relationships, and tossing the key symbolizes an unbreakable love.
While the locks themselves may be mere litter in the National Park, the keys can pose more serious problems. The critically endangered California condor in the area is actively drawn to shiny objects and often ingests keys from local streams. This requires surgical intervention for the birds.
“Condors are curious creatures and, like a small child, they explore strange objects they encounter with their beaks,” the Facebook post says. “Condors are not designed to digest metal, and they often cannot pass such objects. If a condor ingests too many of these items, it can lead to its death.”
Love locks have already become a problem in other popular places, notably on the Pont des Arts bridge in Paris, where the locks became so heavy that they damaged the structural integrity of the bridge.
When Paris authorities removed the locks in 2015, the weight of the 700,000 metal items removed was equivalent to the weight of 20 elephants.
After the removal of the locks from the bridge, the city installed glass barriers to prevent the addition of new “love locks.”
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