Ed and Anne-Katrin hear the fowl bawl in Park

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Photo gallery

A ‘Chance’ meeting: Here we see the double-crested cormorant with what appears to be an FBI ankle bracelet on his right leg. It’s actually a barbed hook left by a fisherman.
Would-be savior Ed Bahlman moves in to save the bird.
And down!: Bahlman holds down the injured bird.
Hook, line and stinker!: After freeing the waterfowl, rehabilitator Anne-Katrin Titze shows off the hook and fishing line.
In fine feather: The next day, Chance looked as good as new.

At least one double-crested cormorant is thankful that Anne-Katrin Titze always travels with her trusty needle-nose pliers.

The fish-foraging waterfowl was the latest bird to be ensnared by a fish hook in Prospect Park’s lake — and the poor fellow (gal?) was in agony until Titze, a licensed animal rehabilitator, was summoned to do her Androcles act and save the day last Wednesday.

A Parks worker spotted the bird first, and escorted Titze and her companion Ed Bahlman to the Wellhouse where the exhausted bird was struggling under the weight of the five-ounce sinker. (That may not sound like much, but it’s the equivalent of a 20-pound weight on Michael Phelps’s leg.)

Bahlman coaxed over the injured bird so that Titze could perform her magic — a surgical procedure that extracted the barbed hook in two pieces.

The couple dubbed the bird Chance — because luck played a big role in his (her?) rehabilitation.

“This bird is the poster fowl for the unchecked abuses and shows the harm done when people fish irresponsibly in a city park,” said Titze, who has saved 52 waterfowl, four other birds, three squirrels, five dogs and three turtles over the past two years from carelessly discarded fishing lines, illegal barbed hooks and environmentally unsafe lead sinkers. “What chance do birds like ‘Chance’ and other wildlife have to survive this kind of neglect? Every hook has been barbed!”

Reach reporter Gersh Kuntzman for two more weeks at or by calling (718) 260-4504.
Updated 12:11 pm, December 13, 2011
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Reasonable discourse

Christine from Windsor Terrace says:
Good to see the little guy being rescued! It's great to read about a rehabilitator taking action to help counter injuries to wildlife in the park!
Dec. 13, 2011, 8:17 am
Jet Jones from Park Slope says:
It’s sad but this could have easily been avoided if there was someone around to enforce the park rules on fishing.
Dec. 13, 2011, 10:06 am
Rob from Park Slope says:
Just another example of how the parks department does virtually nothing to enforce any rules in Prospect Park. Since people obviously can't obey the posted rules, fishing should be banned in the city parks.
Dec. 13, 2011, 11:05 am
K. from ArKady says:
"What you do for the least of these, you do for Me" - Jesus Christ -
Dec. 13, 2011, 12:40 pm
randy from ps says:
how do i get my hook and sinker back?
Dec. 13, 2011, 4:18 pm
anti-randy from not ps says:
Open your mouth wide.
Dec. 13, 2011, 6:24 pm
LuLu from Los Angeles says:
What a beautiful bird! Thanks Ed and Anne, for keeping up your rescue efforts, and continue pressuring the park to clean up its act.
Dec. 13, 2011, 8:47 pm
Leni from Manhattan says:
Anne-Katrin is so cool! Great rescue.
Dec. 13, 2011, 9:02 pm
K. from ArKady says:
Hey Brooklyn paper IT person; why don't you post the IP address of the little boy who keeps posting porn to your website? We can do the rest.
Dec. 14, 2011, 1:17 pm
trace from park slope says:
This is what rangers should be doing. And everyone else should help by picking up garbage on every walk. Every walk..
Rangers should not be carrying guns - they have enough doing just saving what is 'natural' in the park.
Dec. 15, 2011, 3:47 pm

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