Beloved Owl Named Flaco That Escaped Central Park Zoo Had 4 Different Rat Poisons In Its System, Severe Pigeon Herpes When It Died After Flying Into Building

Inside Edition

Flaco, the beloved New York City owl that died recently, did not go out on a good note.

NYC residents were devastated when the news broke that the famous Eurasian Eagle Owl still living in the city after it escaped the Central Park Zoo had passed away. Back in February, Flaco the owl died when it flew into a building.

An X account (formerly Twitter) that was run in honor of Flaco sent out this post on the day of the famous owl’s passing:

Heart breaking.

Obviously, one might assume that Flaco’s cause of death was… flying into a building. Birds unfortunately tend to mistake windows for open spaces, often meeting their demise because of trauma suffered from flying full speed into glass.

But a necropsy performed on the owl by the Central Park Zoo revealed that there was more than met the eye to the owl’s death. Many thought that Flaco was thriving as it lived for over a year in the city after its great escape, but as it turns out, it wasn’t all that it seemed.

After the zoo conducted a postmortem, they found that Flaco was suffering from a “severe pigeon herpesvirus,” which was likely contracted from the sick birds the larger owl preyed on. And surprisingly, that wasn’t the worst of it…

The Eurasian Eagle Owl also had a mixture of four different rat poisons in its system at the time of its death. NYC’s rat population might have seemed like a great source of food on paper for Flaco, but the consumption of the big rodents with poison in their system ended up transferring the toxins to the owl.

Flaco’s death is just another brick in the road of concern for the health and well being of wildlife that choose to live in urban areas. It’s also a sad ending to a story that was once viewed as inspirational.

Flaco the Owl had escaped from the Central Park Zoo in February of 2023, and had managed to live off the urban land of NYC ever since. It was believed that if he could make it there, he could make it anywhere (sorry, I had to).

RIP Flaco.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock