Manner again in February of 2023, I reported on the escape of Flaco; a Eurasian Eagle-owl who flew the coop from his enclosure on the Central Park Zoo. On the time, Flaco’s escape was current information and efforts to seize the feathered fugitive had been in full swing.
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You could bear in mind early 2023 as a time when zoo escapes had been everywhere in the information. Surprisingly, a seemingly unconnected collection of crimes and accidents led to the escape or theft of a number of animals from zoos throughout the nation inside a span of only a few months. Most notably, the Dallas Zoo skilled a string of crimes together with the killing of an endangered Lappet-faced Vulture, the vandalism of a Clouded Leopard enclosure resulting in the animal’s escape, and the theft of two Emperor Tamarin monkeys. This turned out to have been the work of a single perpetrator and the lacking animals had been positioned and returned except for the deceased vulture.
Zoos in Houston and Louisiana additionally skilled vandalism and animal thefts throughout the early months of 2023, however neither incident captured public consideration just like the escape of Flaco the owl. Flaco escaped on the 2nd of February, 2023, after the metal mesh of his enclosure was reduce by unknown vandals.
The particular person or individuals behind the crime haven’t been caught and, extremely, neither has Flaco. Within the ensuing eleven months since his escape, Flaco the Eurasian Eagle-owl has grow to be one thing of a star in New York and has been noticed throughout Manhattan. Within the early days after his escape, most of his sightings had been concentrated in Central Park, however he has since branched out and has popped up in plenty of sudden places.
In December of 2023, reviews started coming in of Flaco sightings exterior a number of house home windows. Residents of Manhattan’s Decrease East Facet reported Flaco visiting window sills and resting on air con items earlier than shifting on. Information reviews consult with him as a “peeping Tom” because of pictures taken throughout these sightings which present him staring into house home windows.
I, like many others who birdwatch usually and observe fowl information intently, know that it’s a matter of extraordinary good luck that Flaco has made it this far. City dwelling is a troublesome activity for a fowl of prey. Rodents laced with lethal pesticides, collisions with automobiles, and a scarcity of actually secure wild areas pose huge threats to the wild native owls that usually stay within the Large Apple. Add to this the truth that Flaco is neither wild nor native and his surviving this lengthy is a powerful accomplishment.
Nonetheless, there aren’t any Eurasian Eagle-owls in New York— apart from Flaco. With the season for Eagle-owl courtship lately handed and the season for nesting underway, it’s painfully apparent that, beloved as he’s to onlookers, Flaco doesn’t belong in Manhattan. It’s my honest hope that he’s captured within the close to future and returned to the Central Park Zoo earlier than it’s too late and this thrilling story ends tragically.