Mount Rushmore: Greenpeace activist rescued after getting stuck in Theodore Roosevelt’s nostril

National Park Service rangers rescued an environmental activist from a very delicate position this morning with the help of the South Dakota National Guard: the giant stone nostril of the 26th President of the United States.

Around 9:30 this morning, the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office received an emergency call reporting a climber had gotten stuck while ascending the famous massive sculpture of Theodore Roosevelt at the Mount Rushmore National Park.

Upon arriving on site, they found a group of climbers trying to help a man stuck in the sculpture’s nostril, so they contacted the park rangers and the state’s national guard for help.

51-year old Gary White, a regional coordinator for Greenpeace in South Dakota, was part of a team of four activists who tried to set a 200-ft long banner on Mount Rushmore to raise awareness about global warming.

As it started to rain heavily while they were beginning to set their banner, Mr. White tried to protect himself from the elements by hiding under the nose of the 26th President, but unfortunately for him, he got completely stuck in the massive nostril.

National Park Service spokesman, John Wittaker, described the delicate rescue operation as ­“extremely unusual and dangerous”.

“Our rangers had use jackhammers only inches away from his head to extract him while hanging by ropes more than 30 feet of the ground. It was stressful to say the least.” 

Mr. Wittaker advised would-be activists to choose less dangerous sites for their actions and demonstrations.

“We can’t mobilize helicopters and damage our Presidents’ faces every time an idiot wants to send a message. Do your thing on the streets or the social media, it’s much safer.”

The climber, 51-year old Gary White, was successfully extracted after being stuck for more than five hours. He suffers from a dislocated shoulder, but is otherwise in good physical condition.

 

Mr. White was transported to the Black Hills Surgical Hospital to be treated for some minor injuries.

He was arrested upon exiting the hopital, as he faces a total of nine criminal accusations including damaging a national memorial, drug possession and trespassing.

If found guilty on all charges, he faces a maximum of twelve and a half years in prison and a fine of $1,375,000.

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