A mystery man walking towards a lake holding suspicious bags on a Sunday night sounds like a scene right out of a crime thriller. Thankfully, in this case, the bags were not filled with anything frightful. However, the contents of the bags did qualify to be termed bizarre—live eels.
A man was seen dumping over 100 live eels into the Prospect Park lake. Parkgoers said that they spotted him dragging two large trash bags near the Vanderbilt Street Entrance at around 7:30 PM. Many even witnessed one of the bags splitting open and its greasy contents spilling out onto the lawn.
A Very 'Fishy' Incident
Witnesses stated that they vividly recollected the odd incident. A fisherman, Dominick Pabon, even made a video of the unusual episode. The mystery man is seen dressed in white clothes that resemble a cook's uniform and can be heard saying that the eels were brought from a store and that he is rescuing them as he dumps them into the lake.
"I just want to save their lives!" he shouts. Pabon is then heard yelling back. "You're killing other life here! Eels are not supposed to be here!". "No exaggeration, it had to be at least 100 eels," Pabon recollects.
The police were intimated about the incident. However, the man disappeared by the time the authorities had arrived. Pabon, who is a resident of Sunset Park and has been fishing for 13 years, told the Brooklyn Paper that the eels looked similar to ones at seafood markets, and were likely saltwater eels, as some of them were desperate to get out of the freshwater lake. "They were trying to swim back out of the lake, it was crazy," he said.
Adverse Effects On The Ecosystem
The eels however are not the first non-native species to have been introduced to the lake. The Red-Eared Slider Turtles seen in abundance at the lake are an invasive species introduced by the pet trade.
Pabon told the Brooklyn Paper that other illicit fish and eels have been dumped, and are disrupting the ecology of the waterway. "It's destroying the whole ecosystem," he said. "The fishing has been getting slower and slower," he added.