Celebrities and Fans Mourn the Death of Flaco the Famous Fugitive Owl of NYC

Celebrities and fans of Flaco, a famous fugitive owl, are mourning his sudden and tragic death. Over the weekend, the Central Park Zoo (Flaco’s former home) reported that Flaco had been found deceased. Their autopsy concluded that Flaco had died from trauma after hitting a building window. They also found that while Flaco had been on the run for a year in an unnatural environment, he was still in good physical condition.

Celebrities and Fans Mourn the Death of Flaco the Famous Fugitive Owl of NYC
Credit: Busy Phillips/David Lei/Elizabeth Banks

If you’re not already a Flaco fan, his story started in February 2023, when his cage at the Central Park Zoo was vandalized, allowing him to escape. Flaco is an Eurasian owl, which is one of the largest species of owl, with a wingspan that can reach 6 feet across. Plus they’re not native to North America, making him quite a spectacular sight around New York City.

While a joy to spot in the urban environment, the main concern was with his wellbeing. Could he feed himself enough? Could rodents he catches have pest control poison in them? And the constant chance of physical injury from buildings, cars, and other hazards.

At the start of the month, the media celebrated Flaco surviving a month and for appearing healthy and adjusted to his new life. But all the risks were still there… And he tragically joined the estimated 230,000 birds killed by windows in New York City each year.

An outpouring of posts and comments mounted the unnecessary death of Flaco. This includes celebrities such as Elizabeth Banks and Busy Philipps. Many comments on their posts expressed the need to address the dangers building windows create for birds in the city.

Many fans posted their own tributes, including these beautiful murals.

For some excellent photos of the late and great Flaco the Owl, visit @davidlei on Instagram.

Related: Owl remembers man who saved her life, gives him a big hug

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