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Badlands National Park tweeted the inconvenient truth about climate change today, despite the Trump administration’s crackdown on environmental outreach. And the Twittersphere went wild.

The South Dakota park’s staff typically focuses its Twitter account on bighorn sheep and the like, but at least one of the account’s keepers delved into atmospheric carbon dioxide readings:

The tweetstorm was seen as brazen because the Interior Department and its National Park Service had already weathered a social-media freeze over Inauguration Day crowd estimates, and because word emerged that the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Agriculture were told to put the brakes on social media and other forms of engagement.

Sympathetic Twitter users (and Twitter Moments) took notice:

The tweets lasted only a few hours before they were deleted. But that was long enough for them to spawn the screenshots heard round the world.

“Vladimir Putin would be proud,” Adrienne Watson, national press secretary for the Democratic National Committee, said in a statement (which was tweeted, of course).

The incident brought out the snark, left and right, for the Badlands’ mountain goat caption contest:

The climate tweets did far more for the park’s social-media profile than the caption contest did: Badlands National Park’s follower count quickly zoomed past 100,000, which is a huge jump from last week’s tally of 7,066.

It’s worth noting that Badlands isn’t the only national park to be tweeting about climate change:

If you’re already missing the Badlands’ bad behavior, there’s a parody account just for you …

… And if you’re into #fakenews, someone quickly set up a fake Badlands_NPS Twitter account (with an extra telltale underscore) as well as BadIandsNPS with a capital I (“eye”) substituting for the lowercase l (“ell”):

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