This is just pathetic. According to Yahoo a priceless Egyptian whale fossil has been destroyed by European diplomats out four-wheelin’:
“Whale Valley officials have informed the authorities that people from two diplomatic corps vehicles destroyed the fossil,” the source told AFP after the destruction was discovered around 150 kilometres (95 miles) south of Cairo.
Two cars drove into the protected area on Friday and then refused to stop when asked to do so by wardens who nevertheless got the vehicles’ registration numbers which the source said were from “a European country.”
“The damage is more than 10 million dollars,” the source said.
The site, known as Wadi Hitan (Whale Valley), was home to whales around 40 million years ago when the area was ocean. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to hundreds of of whale fossils.
Remains of an early whale from 40-million years ago lies on the desert pavement of Wadi El-Hutan, 100 kilometers south of Cairo. European diplomats in four-wheel drive cars have caused millions of dollars worth of damage to a fossilised whale lying for millions of years in the Egyptian desert, a security source said on Sunday.
A description of the site from UNESCO:
Wadi Al-Hitan, Whale Valley, in the Western Desert of Egypt, contains invaluable fossil remains of the earliest, and now extinct, suborder of whales, the archaeoceti. These fossils represent one of the major stories of evolution: the emergence of the whale as an ocean-going mammal from a previous life as a land-based animal. This is the most important site in the world for the demonstration of this stage of evolution. It portrays vividly the form and life of these whales during their transition. The number, concentration and quality of such fossils here is unique, as is their accessibility and setting in an attractive and protected landscape. The fossils of Al-Hitan show the youngest archaeocetes, in the last stages of losing their hind limbs. They already display the typical streamlined body form of modern whales, whilst retaining certain primitive aspects of skull and tooth structure. Other fossil material in the site makes it possible to reconstruct the surrounding environmental and ecological conditions of the time.
Also, some more info on Wadi Al-Hitan here.
Bastards! I hope some diplomats get sent back to their home countries and get tossed in jail.