Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Requiring Responsibility from Park Leaderships for Wildlife Protection

Still suffering.  Goose ensnared with fishing line at Harlem Meer, while Dana Discovery Center and park officials offer excuses and falsehoods to public.
"Mr. Mister."  Mallard with broken wing at Harlem Meer for more than a month amid endless excuses for "not finding."
An acquaintance (I will call her "Jane") called the Dana Discovery Center at Harlem Meer yesterday about the injured goose with fishing line and tackle around bill.  She spoke with a woman named, "Flo."  

Flo told Jane that the goose is at Harlem Meer "all the time" but she personally has never seen it.  She also told Jane that the goose "is eating."

But, if Flo has never seen the goose, how can she possibly know the goose is there "all the time" and is "eating?"

For point of fact, the fishing line goose is not at Harlem Meer "all the time."  I have been to the Meer eight days in a row at different times, searched the entire lake and have yet to see her.

This is what makes possible rescue coordination so difficult. One at least needs to start off with the premise of knowing the injured animal's exact location and at what times s/he is usually there.

If I have been critical of the Dana Discovery Center, this is why.

The Dana Center is on site to Harlem Meer.  Employees only have to look out their window to know when the injured goose is there.

While employees of the Dana Center rightfully argue it is "not our job" to rescue injured wildlife, (it is the job of Urban Park Rangers), they appear both, indifferent to this goose' suffering (as result of an activity they heavily promote) as well as resentful of the goose for even being there.

Imagine an immigrant walking into a hospital with an injury and then being told by doctors, "You shouldn't be here in the first place."

That is exactly the attitude of people at the Dana Center, but it is an ignorant attitude in more ways than one.

Canada geese are in fact, native to North America and they are waterfowl that naturally "belongs" on water.

One could easily and correctly argue that it is fishing line and tackle that "doesn't naturally belong" in the water.

But, it is the fact that the Dana Center rents out fishing equipment and endorses this activity to the community that makes their attitude so irresponsible and unfathomable.

When one throws a party, it is that person's (or entity's) job to clean up from the party or hire someone to do it.

When Central Park or NYC conducts marathons, concerts or street fairs, the sanitation trucks are immediately on the spot following the events to clean up.

But, when fishing line and tackle is discarded at Harlem Meer or wildlife is injured as result of fishing, the attitude of the entity promoting these events is, "It's not our job to clean up or coordinate rescue for fishing-injured wildlife."

That is totally unacceptable.

The Dana Discovery Center and Central Park is "holding the (fishing) parties" so to speak. 

It is their job to clean up any debris or mayhem left from those parties, not the public's or even Urban Park Rangers.

The reality is that this suffering goose will be difficult, if not impossible to rescue and free from fishing line without the cooperation and involvement of the Dana Discovery Center.

Not only is the Dana Center on site to the injured goose, but it also possesses fishing nets, one of which hopefully would be large enough for a goose.  (There is also a sizable raft at Harlem Meer, but it is not clear who exactly has ownership and possession of the raft.)

So far, the question of why Urban Park Rangers are not properly equipped for waterfowl rescue (such as possessing kayaks and rocket nets) has not been answered. Nor has it been answered why Rangers are doing children's "education classes" at a time wildlife is most in danger and more likely to need rescue.

I personally believe that the public for too long has accepted excuses, mendacity and deflection of responsibility as substitutes for productive and concrete action.

The fishing line goose at the Meer for more than a week and the mallard with broken wing at the same location for more than a month are clear proof of that.

It's past time to start requiring more and better from our park leaderships and from fishing promoting venues like the Dana Discovery Center.

Sadly, what we are "discovering" at Harlem Meer where the Dana Center is located is callous indifference to wildlife and shirking of their obligations to the "mess" the activity they most espouse creates. 

That is simply unacceptable. -- PCA


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