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 March 26, 2024

Testing shows that Flaco, New York City's celebrity owl, died from pigeon virus and rat poison

Flaco, a celebrity owl from New York City, was suffering from severe pigeon-borne sickness and high levels of rat poison when he crashed into a building and died.

This information came last month, according to officials at the Bronx Zoo, who made the announcement on Monday, as WDTV 5 reported.

On February 23, a little more than a year after he escaped a damaged enclosure at the Central Park Zoo and began a life in the urban wilds that charmed New Yorkers, the body of the Eurasian eagle-owl was discovered dead in a courtyard in Manhattan.

Zoo Officials Statements

Officials from the zoo stated that although an initial autopsy determined that trauma was the cause of death, additional testing found that a couple of serious medical issues may have contributed to the collision they were involved in.

In addition to having a "severe" case of pigeon herpesvirus, which had caused damage to his brain, liver, spleen, and other organs, research conducted on Flaco's blood revealed that he had been exposed to four distinct types of rat poisons.

“These factors would have been debilitating and ultimately fatal, even without a traumatic injury,” the zoo said in a statement.

“Flaco’s severe illness and death are ultimately attributed to a combination of factors — infectious disease, toxin exposures, and traumatic injuries — that underscore the hazards faced by wild birds, especially in an urban setting.”

Vandaliztion At Zoo

After an unidentified vandal broke into the zoo and cut Flaco's cage, Flaco spent his first several days of freedom inside Central Park. Only then did he venture out onto the cityscape of Manhattan.

In spite of the fact that he had spent his entire thirteen years in captivity, he very quickly demonstrated his prowess as a hunter by preying on the city's enormous rat population.

However, his freedom also caused concern among several experts, who stated that he was exposed to a variety of dangers in the city, one of which was the possibility of ingesting a rat that had been poisoned.

Bird Lovers' Response

David Barrett is a bird lover who operates a social media website that tracks the owl's activities and comments on the bird's whereabouts.

According to Barrett, Flaco had stopped his nightly hooting from the roofs of the city in the days leading up to his passing, which caused some people to worry that he was sick.

“Though these results remind us of the tragedy of Flaco’s passing, they also bring understanding and closure,” Barrett said.

Immediately after his passing, the authorities at the zoo placed the blame squarely on the vandal who had cut his enclosure, a crime that has not yet been completely solved.

Written By:
Charlotte Tyler

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