Last year, a dramatic escape occurred at New York City’s famed Central Park from what is a stop of renown, the Central Park Zoo. On February 2 of 2023, vandals had cut into the enclosure that housed a Eurasian Eagle Owl, who saw an opportunity to find freedom by escaping the enclosure. He roamed the “wilds” of Central Park as the zoo tried every trick in the book to recapture the large apex predator. They feared that the owl would be unable to adapt having lived within an enclosure since 2010.

But as fate would have it, the owl avoided every set means of capture and found Central Park and its metal surroundings to be quite the allure of staying free. Eventually, the zoo realized that the owl was surviving quite nicely and called off every effort to reacquire him. Their intent became to simply watch out for him in a different setting. If he showed any signs of distress, then they would begin anew in their efforts to recapture him. It never became necessary.

Park Life Suits Him

The owl, warmly known as Flaco, became a subject of interest to anyone who knew of his existence within the park. (We published an article detailing the breakout and Flaco’s subsequent orientation within the beautiful Central Park – read here.) Flaco is a daring owl that has thrived on his own, overcoming all concerns by experts. Flaco is clearly Central Park’s singular celebrity as his is regularly photographed by many who look for him…and many who are surprised by his arrival. Over the course of the last year, Flaco has flourished by spending his time of adventure in areas that seem unlikely for him. NYC is a place of strength and requires the same to live within its borders. Flaco has shown its residents that he has plenty of that mettle to call the city his home.

The well-known X (once known as Twitter) account – Manhattan Bird Alert (here) has paid more than close attention to the actions of Flaco over 2023 with photos and announcements of his comings and goings. News agencies still occasionally recount various locations that Flaco likes to frequent. He has visited a surprising number of courtyards and balconies in the Upper West Side of Manhattan and has stayed for a time in some of those places. He even likes flying along Fifth Avenue as the NYPD have reported. But he always makes it back to Central Park, safe and sound.

An industry has grown because of Flaco that includes paintings, murals, tee shirts, mugs, and other works of appreciable art. There is a static web address dedicated to him that has yet to produced content, and a dedicated X account that monitors his daily movements (here).

Flaco has put to rest all fears and concerns that he might ever be subject to the harshness of the wild. He has easily dispelled all those concerns by staying quite visible and loudly vocal (with his hoots) throughout 2023. Photos and videos are still taken of him daily and posted on X, FB, and other social media sites.

Flaco has learned to survive on his own after more than a decade of being cared for by zoo officials. His survival story over the year has underscored his intelligence and determination. The world has its collective eyes on you, Flaco!

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