Tourist in China kicks and destroys ancient limestone cave formation

The unidentified man destroyed an ancient stalagmite in a Guizhou cave by kicking it. VIDEO: YOUTUBE

In another case of unruly behaviour from Chinese tourists, a young man destroyed a 50cm stalagmite - which took nature thousands of years to form - at a picturesque limestone cave in south-west China, with several swift kicks.

An unidentified young man visiting the cave in Songtao county, Guizhou province, was caught in the act on surveillance cameras, reported South China Morning Post on Friday (June 2), citing Chinese media reports.

Footage from the cameras showed the man attempting to kick the stalagmite on the side of the cave's main path, while other tourists took pictures of the limestone formations of the cave.

He succeeded on his third try, knocking off a 30cm-long piece of limestone, before walking away without taking the broken piece.

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Administrators of the cave attraction have called in the police, but the man has remained elusive to date.

A cave enthusiast told Chinese media that such limestone formations are built up over a long time from, drip by drip, and cannot be readily restored.

Similar man-made stalactite damage has also been reported in Shandong and Liaoning provinces.

The senseless act has caused an outcry on Chinese-language social media.

Said a Baidu user: "Such scenic attractions belong to the nation and should not be wilfully damaged.

"(The man) deserves a serious punishment."

But another netizen noted that such an incident would not have occurred had the natural wonder not been "exploited for profit".

Lawyer Chen Hao, in an interview with the Post, said such vandalism should be denounced.

Mr Chen reportedly suggested that the broken stalagmite be appraised at a laboratory.

"Police will detain the man if the appraisal value is above the threshold of criminal charge. If not, the administration office can sue the man for compensation," he said.