Monday, November 15, 2010

Prospect Park Swan With Illegal Barbed Fishhook In its Foot Saved

Wildlife lover Ed Bahlman captures the wounded cygnet so that wildlife rehabilitator Anne-Katrine Titze can remove the hook. (Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze)


A swan with an illegal barbed fishhook through its foot was saved from a painful fate by two park-goers on Friday, in the latest clash on between waterfowl and Prospect Park fishermen, according to the Brooklyn Paper.

Park watchdogs Anne-Katrin Titze and Ed Bahlman first noticed last week that their beloved cygnet had a hook through its webbed foot that was trailing a 10-foot-long fishing line.

They dubbed the gray cygnet Achilles, after the legendary Greek warrior with the tragically weak ankle.

The pair then hatched a plan to capture Achilles and remove the hook — at whatever cost.

“We waited for him to jump out of the water to preen himself and I got in between him and the lake and grabbed him,” said Bahlman. “He squealed like a pig.”

Bahlman held the panicked bird from behind while Titze — a licensed wildlife rehabilitator — swooped in with a pair of pliers and removed the hook, which still had a tiny shred of fowl-flesh on it hours later.

By Sunday, Achilles was back to his normal self, flying and feeding on breadcrumbs given to him by park-goers (which is against park rules, by the way).

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The Brooklyn Paper - November 15, 2010 - By Stephen Brown

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