• Grand Canyon. Ganapathy Kumar/Unsplash
    Grand Canyon. Ganapathy Kumar/Unsplash

Officials at America's famous Grand Canyon have taken to social media to discourage visitors from placing 'love locks' in the park due to the harm they can cause to wildlife.

“Love is strong, but it is not as strong as our bolt cutters,” the park’s post said.

A popular display of love and commitment across the globe, 'love locks' are just padlocks that couples place on structures like bridges to seal a relationship, often throwing the keys off afterward.

The idea is intended to represent the lasting bond that lovers have to one another. But it also poses a risk to one of America’s most endangered birds.

“Leaving pad locks like this is littering and a form of graffiti,” wrote officials. “But because people will throw their padlock key into the canyon the scenario becomes worse and more dangerous specifically for a rare and endangered animal of the canyon.”

The California condor is a scavenging bird that’s known for picking up shiny things like coins, foil, and even keys.

But condors that are unlucky enough to consume this type of trash are typically unable to pass it, which in extreme cases can put them in surgery or even result in their deaths.

“Condors are curious animals and much like a small child will investigate strange things they come across with their mouths,” the NPS wrote.

“Condors love shiny things. They will spot a coin, a wrapper, or a shiny piece of metal, like a key from a padlock that has been tossed into the canyon and eat it.”

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