Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Who Needs Developers? A Muskrat Builds Its Very Own Gowanus Canal Condo

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Photos of muskrat courtesy of Adam Katzman

Proving that the Gowanus Canal is still prime real estate even after the Environmental Protection Agency declared the dangerously polluted waterway a Superfund site in March 2010, a muskrat has recently build its own home on the canal's shore. The rather cute aquatic rodent was first spotted by Adam Katzman from the Jerko, his houseboat moored near First Street and Bond.

Eymund Diegel , a local resident and an urban planner, believes that the critter's appearance means that there are enough mussels and fish in the canal for its survival. Diegel also thinks that this particular animal may be part of a family of muskrats that has made Brooklyn Bridge Park its home.
How he found his way to the shores of our canal is unclear.

Matthew Wills of the
blog Backyard and Beyond commented that muskrats "are not unknown in contemporary Brooklyn (see Four Sparrow Marsh), for they are reputed to be a hardy and adaptable species, like Brooklynites in general."

This particular Gowanus Canal muskrat may just be a bit more adaptable than all of us.


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