Love will tear you apart.
A common fondness for Prospect Park’s wildlife has resulted in a divided front for the groups of activists working to protect the park’s goose population from evils ranging from the to .
Though Prospect Park’s many groups of wildlife activists have a seemingly common goal—to protect the park’s wildlife, and especially its geese—there could not be more contention in how to accomplish that goal.
“None, I repeat none of what she says is true,” wildlife rehabilitator Anne-Katrin Titze wrote in an E-mail, opining that fellow goose lover Johanna Clearfield was “causing a great deal of harm to [the] swans.”
In an E-mail exchange between the two wildlife lovers, forwarded by Titze, the accused berated Titze for “barking a condescending remark” after Titze told the activist to stand down and just leave the park swans alone.
“She is one of the most arrogant of all the wildlife people I’ve had to deal with,” wrote Clearfield of Titze. “I know many wildlife rehabilitators who refuse to speak to her.”
And those familiar with the great rift in the park’s activist community say that the war between the wildlife lovers has greatly detracted from accomplishing any activism.
“Any infighting is going to take away from time that you could be putting into the issue,” said one source familiar with the situation.
The differing factions seemingly disagree on everything from the proper way to help the park’s injured and endangered waterfowl to who to blame for the troubled status of park animal welfare.
In Titze’s piece she called , the massive pro-geese rally held in the park in March, “folly,” arguing that the event, in which Brooklynites joined hands around the lake in solidarity, was “an empty gesture.”
Artz countered: “The whole — and only — premise of “Hands Around the Lake” is to gather the community together, adults and children alike to promote the absolute importance of wildlife in our lives especially now as we face such turbulent times.”
Both women argued that the community needs to respect its wildlife and rally to protect the park’s geese—but only if you did it their way.
The groups have often even resorted to name calling, and counter attacks.
In E-mail exchanges, some referred to each other as “obsessed with seeing [their] name in print,” “incoherent,” “arrogant” and liars.
“Unfortunately advocacy groups end up splitting and fighting,” said a familiar source. “That’s not uncommon, but it’s always sad.”