John Boy Walton, a swan who lives in Prospect Park, was found injured Friday, and an unnamed duck was found dead in the latest of a series of mysterious animal deaths over the last two weeks around the park’s lake. According to a parkgoer who spoke to the Brooklyn Paper, “Two dead opossums, one blackbird, the duck, one turtle and seven or eight dead fish” have been found dead in the park, all in an area where someone has been dumping bits of the carcasses of slaughtered animals.
Mounds of animal entrails, detached chicken heads, the stripped shells of tortoises, blood and feathers have been found in and around the lake. Initial reports linked the dead animals to Santeria rituals, but Assistant Commissioner of NYC Parks and Recreation Tupper Thomas told WPIX Friday that that explanation was off the table: “We feel that somebody has probably been bringing in the chicken parts and the entrails, brought it in and dumped it there for God only knows what reason.”
Locals already concerned about finding animal body parts in their park are now concerned that the remains are poisoning the water. The Parks Department has promised to test the water for contamination, but according to Prospect Park Spokesman Eugene Patron, “It is very unlikely that the 60-acre watercourse, which is constantly flowing, is contaminated.”