Buddhist sect ritual releases animals into Passaic River

A Buddhist sect released animals into the Passaic River in what it calls a goodwill gesture, however, the state sees it as a violation of the law. The group from Queens, New York, released hundreds of

News 12 Staff

Aug 13, 2007, 10:46 PM

Updated 6,130 days ago

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Buddhist sect ritual releases animals into Passaic River
A Buddhist sect released animals into the Passaic River in what it calls a goodwill gesture, however, the state sees it as a violation of the law.
The group from Queens, New York, released hundreds of turtles, bullfrogs and eels into the river near West Side Park Sunday. The animals were allegedly purchased at shops in Manhattan?s Chinatown. A Buddhist monk from Garfield, who did not participate in the ritual, says releasing the creatures is a way of giving them back to nature.
State officials say releasing the creatures may actually be doing some species harm. Hackensack Riverkeeper Captain Bill Sheehan says the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife has been tracking foreign creatures in the waterways for years, but never knew religious groups may be behind their release.
Sheehan says not only is it against the law to release creatures into the wild, but it is also potentially harmful for the native fish population and anyone who eats them.
The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife is looking into the situation to see if there is a compromise solution.


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