Soldiers in Guyana have seized heavy-duty mining equipment from a protected area that features one of the most powerful waterfalls in the world.
Authorities said Thursday that nearly 30 pontoons with pumps were dredging river beds for gold and diamonds in Kaieteur National Park.
Guyana's Defense Force said it also found environmental pollutants including mercury waste oils and silicone.
Environmentalists recently complained about an increasing number of miners working in the area and making nearby rivers turbid. Guyana banned mining near rivers more than a year ago, and commercial mining and logging are prohibited at the park.
The park is home to Kaieteur Falls and thousands of species of birds, monkeys and big cats including pumas and jaguars.