Late last month, onlookers near Prospect Park Lake in Brooklyn, New York experienced a male worn white disposing two garbage bags loaded with live, wriggling eels into the lake, reports Marion Renault of the Associated Press (AP).
Andrew Orkin, a music composer who was out for a night run near the lake, saw one of the two big plastic trash bags split open as a male dragged them towards the water’s edge, spilling the wincing creatures onto the ground, according to the AP.
Another witness, Dominick Pabon, was angling for catfish with his better half when he heard the guy dragging the bags of eels weep “I’m conserving their lives!” when onlookers began to push him for information about what in the world he believed he was doing.
Pabon, a chef and oyster catering service, informs Jack Denton of Curbed that he’s caught a couple of black spotted eels in the lake over the last few years, but that the types isn’t belonging to the location. Pabon confronted the eel liberator and tape-recorded a video of the encounter with his phone, according to Ray Villeda of NBC New York City.
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On the video, Pabon can be heard telling the guy that disposing live animals into the lake is illegal which his activities might end up “killing other life” by disrupting the lake’s ecosystem.
The Prospect Park Alliance supported the illegality of the eel disposing in a statement to NBC New York: “The release of family pets and other animals in the park is illegal without a permit. It is a hazard both to those animals and the plants and wildlife that call the park home.”
The Brooklyn Paper‘s Ben Verde reports that fines for illegal disposing range from $1,500 to $10,000 for the very first infraction, and $5,000 to $20,000 for each subsequent infraction.
Most non-native animals set loose into New York’s waterways and parks will quickly die, but some can flourish and become invasive types that can damage the surrounding environment. Red-eared sliders, a popular types of animal turtle, have taken over many of New York City’s freshwater communities, crowding out native types such as spotted turtles, musk turtles, map turtles, bog turtles, wood turtles, painted turtles, Eastern mud turtles, and diamondback terrapins, reports Caroline Hopkins for National Geographic.
”Individuals like animals and they in some cases think they’re doing a good idea by letting them go,” Jason Munshi-South, metropolitan ecologist at Fordham University, informs the AP. “Most will die. Some will become an issue, and then there’s no going back.”
City authorities tell the AP that it’s too early to tell how this most current release of eels will impact the Brooklyn lake’s ecosystem. Images suggest that the trash bags were filled with overload eels, which are belonging to Southeast Asia and have a starved hunger.
New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation informs the AP they will try to find overload eels in studies in the spring, but that they do not anticipate the eels to make it through the winter. Nicholas Mandrak, a freshwater ecologist at the University of Toronto, informs the AP that the eels could still have unhealthy effects on the ecosystem in the short-term.
Mandrak also posited that as environment modification warms New York’s environment, particular non-native types that may have when been killed off by the region’s winters could make it through.
“We should not pertain to an instant conclusion that due to the fact that they’re discovered in Asia they could not make it through in New York City,” he informs the AP.Source: smithsonianmag.com