Multiple Sightings Made of Beast Escaped from Zoo, But It Continues to Evade Authorities

An escapee in New York City is living in plain sight and even drawing a crowd that posts his pictures to social media, but authorities are unable to bring him in. The culprit in this case is an Eurasian eagle owl named Flaco. Flaco has been flying around Manhattan since his escape from the Central Park Zoo on Thursday. The owl has been free since about 8:30 p.m. after zoo officials found that his exhibit “had been vandalized and the stainless steel mesh cut,” a zoo statement said, according to NPR. Since then, Flaco has spent most of his time in various places in and around Central Park. On Sunday afternoon, bird-watchers spotted him on a tree in the park across from the Plaza Hotel, according to the Gothamist. David Barrett, who runs Manhattan Bird Alert, said he is worried about the bird’s ability to hunt because it “has led a highly regimented life in captivity.” “For the same reason, it probably does not realize it can drink from the pond,” he said. Flaco has become somewhat of a celebrity, attracting a crowd to come and look at him wherever he perches. On Friday, that crowd included Molly Eustis, 42, a stage manager who lives in Queens, according to The New York Times. “I wanted to see him and take a picture. You don’t get to see them in the wild very much,” she said. She is also worried about the bird. “An owl that is raised in captivity is not going to know how to hunt, is not really going to know how to navigate the world in the same way as a wild animal,” she said. Flaco had been in captivity for 12 years, according to the New York Post. In its reporting, NPR said Flaco’s engineered escape is among several suspicious events at zoos. On Jan. 28, 12 squirrel monkeys were stolen from a Louisiana zoo. On Jan. 30, two emperor tamarin monkeys were missing from the Dallas Zoo, where on Jan. 13, a clouded leopard’s exhibit was tampered with, allowing the leopard to briefly escape. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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