New York City, Feb. 23, 2024 – The following statement was released by Central Park Zoo:

We are saddened to report that Flaco, the Eurasian eagle owl discovered missing from the Central Park Zoo after his exhibit was vandalized just over a year ago, is dead after an apparent collision with a building on West 89th Street in Manhattan.

The downed owl was reported to the Wild Bird Fund (WBF) by people in the building.  Staff from the WBF quickly responded, retrieved the non-responsive owl and declared him dead shortly afterward. The WBF notified zoo staff who picked up the bird and transported him to the Bronx Zoo for necropsy.

The vandal who damaged Flaco’s exhibit jeopardized the safety of the bird and is ultimately responsible for his death. We are still hopeful that the NYPD, which is investigating the vandalism, will ultimately make an arrest.

Flaco frequently had been seen in and near Central Park and other locations across Manhattan since Feb. 2, 2023. Our staff monitored him throughout the year and were prepared to recover him if he showed any sign of difficulty or distress.  

We appreciate all the support and concern over the well-being of Flaco throughout the past year and the many people who contacted us with updates. We especially appreciate the quick response by the staff of the Wild Bird Fund in their attempt to help Flaco.

We will provide additional information once a necropsy is performed and further testing results are in.