A duck is dead — and a swan wounded — in latest park tragedy

A duck is dead — and a swan wounded — in latest park tragedy

Swan down! Swan down!

The ongoing animal butchery and waterfowl fatalities that have mystified Prospect Park for two weeks nearly claimed a new victim on Friday, but animal rescuers saved one of the lake’s elegant white swans, John Boy, just in time.

The lethargic member of the Waltons clan of swans “was just sitting on the edge of the lake in the shallow water” in something of a feathery fetal position, said park-goer and swan lover, Susan Yuen, who called the city’s Center for Animal Care and Control.

This dead duck (seen below minutes before he died) could be an indication that the lake in Prospect Park, filled with dead animal parts for weeks, is no longer safe for waterfowl.
Community Newspaper Group / Stephen Brown

“His beak was stuffed in his feathers,” Yuen continued. “His legs were in an odd position and his wings were kind of draped in the water. It was such odd behavior because John Boy is always the first one swimming up to you to get food.”

Fortunately, a team from the city’s Center for Animal Care and Control evacuated John Boy before his condition deteriorated.

“We did rescue [John Boy] at Prospect Park,” said Richard Gentles, a spokesman for Animal Care and Control. “It is still alive and is going to a licensed rehabilitator.”

All these dead chicken heads may be polluting the lake in Prospect Park, leading to the death of a duck and an illness in a swan.
The Brooklyn Paper / Stephen Brown

The swan’s condition was no surprise to anyone who has watched with dismay what has been going on for the past two weeks on the lakefront.

First, the shoreline was covered with blood.

Then, disembodied turtle shells appeared.

Swan down! Swan down! John Boy of Waltons swan family in Prospect Park, was saved by animal rescuers on Friday.

Later, an entire area of reeds along the lakefront was burned to a crisp.

Next, chicken heads and animal entrails — too many, in fact, to be from just one beast — were dumped in and around the lakeshore.

As park-goers bemoaned the disgusting condition of the lake water itself, a duck died and John Boy was saved minutes before he, too, might have succumbed.

And the entrails didn't help, either.

Still, there have been so many dead animals in recent days that the place looks like a pet cemetery, said regular park walker Ed Bahlman.

“Two dead opossums, one blackbird, the duck, one turtle and seven or eight dead fish — all in the vicinity of the entrails,” Bahlman said.

As a result of The Brooklyn Paper’s intense coverage, park officials now say that they’ll test the water. They also claim that the police have been notified of the bizarre fortnight of butchery.

And the entrails didn't help, either.
Susan Yuen

Still, park officials are not concerned.

“Sick animals are pretty common after the long winter,” said Eugene Patron a Prospect Park spokesman. “It is very unlikely that the 60-acre watercourse, which is constantly flowing, is contaminated.”