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An anonymous Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park visitor mailed a giant, stolen sequoia cone back to the park, along with an apology note.
Susan Gardiner, the Sequoia housing manager assistant who discovered the letter, said she was pleasantly surprised by the good deed. Based on the handwriting, she guessed the note came from a child.
“When I opened it, I just laughed,” Gardiner said. “I thought it was adorable.”
Gardiner put the cone on her desk for a day so others could see it. Eventually, rangers returned the sequoia cone to the General Grant Tree, the second largest tree in the world at 267 feet tall.
When asked if she could say anything to the honest bandit, Gardiner responded, “I’m proud of you for doing the right thing and making a bad decision into a good decision.”
Gardiner said she opens similar mail about twice a year. In March, she received a pinecone from a man whose wife stole it; in a note, he said that he thought it would have been “bad karma” to keep it.