According to BC Parks, the cave and surrounding area are closed to public access until risks to public safety are determined and engagement with First Nations is completed. Photo submitted

According to BC Parks, the cave and surrounding area are closed to public access until risks to public safety are determined and engagement with First Nations is completed. Photo submitted

Wanting to check out the new cave at Wells Gray? You could face a $1M fine or prison

Anyone caught ignoring the closure risks a fine of up to $1 million, a one-year prison term, or both

Those thinking of visiting Wells Gray Provincial Park’s newest discovery might want to think twice before entering – or risk a $1-million fine and one year in prison.

The province has closed the area off to the public, nearly nine months after Ministry of Environment and Climate Change staff spotted the large cave while conducting a caribou census. It’s believed the cave – named Sarlacc’s Pit by those who first found it – was formed underneath glaciers for tens of thousands of years.

According to a public notice issued by BC Parks on Dec. 14, the cave and surrounding area are closed to public access until risks to public safety are determined and engagement with First Nations is completed. This includes the entire drainage of Ovis Creek, north of Azure Lake.

READ MORE: Newly discovered cave in Wells Gray Park might be the largest in Canada

The exact location of the cave is secret, in order to preserve the area, which may have rare and sensitive ecological attributes that have not been studied.

If someone is caught ignoring BC Parks regulations, they will face separate offences for each day the regulation is ignored.

WATCH: Check out aerial views of the massive cave found in Well’s Gray Provincial Park

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