I have a nice little story for you...
Back in February, over eight months ago, a little Eurasian owl named Flaco escaped his Central Park Zoo pen after vandals damaged his enclosure.
Zookeepers tried to catch him with nets and traps, but that didn't work.
— Bill Hutchinson (@bill_hutchinson) February 10, 2023
The NYPD was no match for him.
Well, that was a hoot 🦉We tried to help this lil wise guy, but he had enough of his growing audience & flew off. @NYCParks Rangers, be on the lookout — he was last seen flying south on 5th Avenue. @BirdCentralPark https://t.co/0kolDDBSY1 pic.twitter.com/AO9F7KSGcr
— NYPD 19th Precinct (@NYPD19Pct) February 3, 2023
And evcentually, the zoo gave up on trying to get Flaco.
— Eyewitness News (@ABC7NY) February 19, 2023
@NYCMayorsOffice/ Twitter: @ABC7NY
Flaco was a free bird.
And it seemed like Flaco enjoyed his new found freedom.
— Stella Hamilton (@StellaH07773809) February 22, 2023
For months, Flaco lived in Central Park, surviving on a plentiful supply of rats.
Shortly before Flaco the Eurasian Eagle-Owl caught a rat, he was playing shallow right field—on the Heckscher Fields of Central Park on Saturday night. What a thrill to see Flaco adapt so quickly to living in the wild! pic.twitter.com/Gnrlc0vGHM
— Manhattan Bird Alert (@BirdCentralPark) February 12, 2023
He gained quite the fan base known as "Flacoholics."
In Central Park, the Flaco fan club, waiting for the great owl to wake. Blessings on these Flacoholics. pic.twitter.com/sQSOj6pVgE
— Jay Nordlinger (@jaynordlinger) April 16, 2023
Things seemed to be going great for them!
— Yifat (@yifat78) March 2, 2023
Then, almost suddenly, at the end of October, Flaco disappeared.
People wondered where he went?
A week later, he showed up again.
Just saw Flaco flying south from the East Village to the Lower East Side. #birdcp
— David Lei (@davidlei) November 9, 2023
Flaco was spotted a few miles down the road in the East Village and Lower East Side.
We think Flaco visited the lower east side. pic.twitter.com/kDAqiDZUPn
— RHP (@RobinHerbstPapa) November 9, 2023
He seemed well!
He was spotted having a stare-off with some man on a balcony.
Flaco wasn’t a fan of this guy out on his balcony tonight. pic.twitter.com/fWS8dcah66
— ᴄʜʀɪs sᴛ ʟᴀᴡʀᴇɴᴄᴇ (@chrisstIawrence) November 10, 2023
The Manhattan Bird Alert account said he looks healthy and strong.
Flaco continues to look healthy and strong, flying high, hooting from a high perch (just as he did in Central Park), and staying away from the dangers of traffic below.
— Manhattan Bird Alert (@BirdCentralPark) November 10, 2023
They also said they think he left Central Park because he is on the lookout for a mate.
🧵 We think that Flaco the Eurasian Eagle-Owl left Central Park in search of a mate. It's the time of year when these owls look to pair up if unattached. Flaco's hoots have gone unanswered for a long time now. He is unaware that no mates are anywhere in the region.
— Manhattan Bird Alert (@BirdCentralPark) November 7, 2023
Flaco's journey continues a bit downtown.
As this person said, "Keep enjoying those freedom views, Flaco."
Keep enjoying those freedom views, Flaco 🦉 https://t.co/6fCPENjzNp
— Becca McMurdie (@BeccaMcMurdie) November 9, 2023