Flaco the owl flees the Central Park Zoo in New York after the vandalism of its enclosure | new York

An eagle owl named Flaco escaped from New York’s Central Park Zoo on Thursday night after its enclosure was vandalized and is still at large in Manhattan.

Flaco has been spotted at various times since his escape by various onlookers, once on a Fifth Avenue sidewalk across from the Plaza Hotel and perched in trees around Central Park.

A quick look at Flaco the Eurasian Eagle Owl this Monday morning as he gazes, perhaps wistfully, at his longtime home, the Central Park Zoo, from East Drive and 63rd Street in inside Central Park. pic.twitter.com/QsLCHF0zI5

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

Zoo staff tried to lure “Flaco” by leaving food for her, but she was untouched.

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

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

Although not in danger, Flaco might not survive if he is not quickly retrieved safely from the zoo as he has spent most of his life in captivity and lacks any real hunting skills.

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

The Dallas Zoo has been hit with no less than four incidents involving flight, death or tampering with their enclosures. Late last week, a 24-year-old man was arrested in connection with the zoo’s missing monkeys who were apparently abducted and later found in an abandoned house.

theguardian Gt

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