Little girl writes endearing letter of apology after taking home ‘souvenir’ rock from national park

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GATLINBURG, Tenn. — Park officials from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park took to Facebook to share an endearing letter they received  from a little girl recently.

Her name is Karina and she apparently felt guilty after taking home a rock while visiting Tom Branch Falls.

“I loved it so much I wanted to have a souvenir to come home with me. So I took a rock. I’m sorry and I want to return it,” she wrote.

She ended her letter by offering a donation and providing a drawing of where exactly the rock came from.

Park officials replied back and said, “thank you for recognizing that what is in the park should stay in the park.”

They went on to explain how rocks in the Smokies provide homes for hundreds of creatures.

“By leaving rocks where they are, we’re helping protect these special homes as well as the beauty of the park,” they said.

They also provided a photo showing the rock back in its natural habitat.

Under federal law, it is illegal to remove natural objects from any of the national parks.

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