Beloved NYC owl Flaco’s official cause of death revealed

Beloved NYC owl Flaco’s official cause of death revealed

Flaco, the beloved Eurasian eagle-owl who captured the hearts of New Yorkers after escaping from the Central Park Zoo a year ago, tragically passed away from “acute traumatic injury,” according to recently released necropsy results.

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) disclosed the findings of Flaco’s post-mortem examination, which was conducted a day after the owl collided with a building on the Upper West Side. Pathologists at the Bronx Zoo determined that Flaco, weighing 4.1 pounds, sustained fatal injuries upon impact, with significant hemorrhaging observed under the sternum and in the body cavity around the liver.

Despite the severity of the impact, Flaco appeared to have been spared from head trauma, although there was minor bleeding behind his left eye. Remarkably, none of the owl’s bones were found to be fractured or broken during the examination.

Before his untimely death, Flaco was in good health, having only lost a small amount of weight since his escape, with adequate muscling and fat stores. Zookeepers had initially expressed concerns about his ability to adapt to the wild after being raised in captivity.

Further investigations will be conducted to determine if potential exposure to toxins such as rodenticides or diseases like West Nile Virus and Avian Influenza played a role in Flaco’s demise, according to officials.

Flaco’s passing sheds light on the issue of bird strikes, with an estimated 250,000 birds meeting similar fates in New York City each year, often mistaking reflections on windows for open sky or trees.

Having spent 12 years in captivity before his escape, Flaco’s journey in the wild was cut short following tampering with his enclosure by vandals at the Central Park Zoo last winter.

New Yorkers have expressed their grief over Flaco’s death, gathering in Central Park and at the location where he passed away to mourn the loss of the iconic owl. Many recall fond memories of Flaco’s year-long adventure in the city, lamenting his tragic end despite his apparent success in the wild.