Flaco the owl flees New York Central Park zoo after enclosure vandalized

A Eurasian-eagle owl named Flaco escaped New York’s Central Park zoo on Thursday night after his enclosure was vandalized and is still on the loose in Manhattan.

Flaco was spotted at different times since fleeing by various onlookers, once on a sidewalk on Fifth avenue, across the Plaza Hotel, and perched on trees around Central Park.

A quick look at Flaco the Eurasian Eagle-Owl this Monday morning as he watches, perhaps wistfully, over his longtime home, the Central Park Zoo, from East Drive and 63rd Street inside Central Park.

— Manhattan Bird Alert (@BirdCentralPark) February 6, 2023

Zoo staff tried to lure “Flaco” back by leaving food out for him, but it was left untouched.

“The [owl’s] exhibit had been vandalized and the stainless steel mesh cut … Our focus and effort at this time is on the safe recovery of the owl. We will issue updates as needed,” a zoo spokesperson said.

According to The Peregrine Fund, an Idaho-based non-profit organization that conserves threatened and endangered birds of prey of the world, Eurasian eagle owls are among the world’s largest owls with an average wingspan of about 5-6ft long. They eat small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, fish, insects and other birds.

While not endangered, Flaco may not survive if he is not soon recovered safely to the zoo since he spent most of life in captivity and lacks real hunting skills.

Flaco’s escape and the damage to his enclosure are just the latest odd happenings at a famous American zoo in recent weeks.

Dallas zoo was struck by as many as four incidents involving its animals escaping, being killed or having their enclosures tampered with. Late last week a 24-year-old man was arrested in connection with the zoo’s missing monkeys who were apparently abducted and then later found inside an abandoned house.

Source of data and images: theguardian

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