Cops have busted a group of oddball poachers in Prospect Park — a
band of vagrants that was trapping and eating ducks, squirrels and
Parks officers wrote four tickets — two for killing wildlife and two
for illegal fishing — totaling $2,100 in fines during a two-day period
The city would not immediately release details of the incidents,
which occurred on July 17 and 18 — just days after park-goers told
rangers about a “Beverly Hillbillies”-like scene on the southeast side
of the lake, near the ice skating rink.
“This is a dodgy group,” said park-goer Peter Colon, who spotted one
of the men catching a pigeon while his friend started a fire. “They are
the most threatening people in the park.”
The disheveled — and possibly homeless — tribe in question uses
fishing poles and traps to catch the critters, then grills them over the
fire, according to park watchdogs.
“One woman uses a net to bag the ducks,” said wildlife advocate
Wildlife advocates have long pushed the Parks Department to crackdown
on illegal hunting and fishing in Prospect Park — especially after a
stunning array of cases in which geese and cygnets were injured by
illegal barbed fishhooks and lure.
In the most-dramatic case, a plucky little goose who lost the top
half of his beak to a fishhook earned him endless sympathy and the
The fishing and hunting ticket blitz comes while park-goers collect
and document large mounds of fishing wire, claiming waterfowl are
frequently get tangled.
And it’s not the first time that poachers have been busted. Last
year, park-goers confronted a man after spotting him catching fish and
secreting them into a bag — a violation of the city’s
After being confronted, the man dumped the dead fish back into the
The new poaching busts bring to mind last year’s wave of animal
murders by the so-called “Butcher of Prospect Park,” whose death toll
included waterfowl, chickens, turtles and a goat.
For now, wildlife advocates were hailing this month’s busts.
“The fact that they’re ticketing is great — it’s so badly needed,”
said goose lover Mary Beth Artz. “I hope they keep it up.”
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