‘Unauthorized’ hikers whitewash ‘gorilla rock’ south of Tijuana

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EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — Hikers have literally de-faced a painting of a gorilla that overlooks the Pacific Ocean from a hill south of Tijuana.

Tijuana artist Cesar Moctezuma recently painted a gorilla’s head on a large rock outcropping in an area known as Cerro El Coronel.

On Tuesday, photos on Twitter showed a group of hikers partially covering the gorilla rock with an earth-tone paint.

Tijuana Local, which promotes cultural and sporting events to more than 20,000 Twitter followers, posted the photos, saying in part: “Hikers decided to climb with no authorization to erase the gorilla. They were surprised to be spotted and took off, leaving the gorilla mostly painted white.”

Before Moctezuma painted his gorilla, obscene graffiti covered the rock. Social media had been both abuzz and critical of the artwork, calling it an “infringement on nature” and “total disrespect for an ecological zone.”

A gorilla head was painted on a hillside called “Cerro El Coronel” south of Tijuana overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
(Courtesy: Cesar Moctezuman)

However, Moctezuma explained that his work meant to remind people to respect natural resources.

“The objective is to get people to litter less and not throw away their trash, and, hopefully, they will want to beautify the area,” Moctezuma said earlier this month.

The hikers who covered the gorilla also face criticism online.

“If you really wanted to help the community, why don’t you paint over graffiti-covered walls or pick up trash in your neighborhood? Do something productive instead of being this ridiculous,” Victor wrote on Twitter.

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Added Nyx Cabello: “There’s their photo. I trust they will be found and punished.”

In mid-July, the artist said he believed the painting would have lasted about six months.

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