It’s not everyday you hear about a large owl escaping from a zoo, but that’s exactly what happened at the Central Park Zoo in New York City. On Thursday night, a Eurasian eagle owl was discovered missing from its exhibit after the exhibit had been vandalized and the stainless steel mesh cut. Since then, a team from the zoo has been searching for the bird, which is one of the largest species of owl.
Citizens and police spotted the owl Thursday night on the sidewalk several blocks from the zoo. Officers from the NYPD’s Emergency Services Unit attempted to get it in a cage, though the owl flew off. The NYPD’s 19th Precinct tweeted, “Well, that was a hoot. We tried to help this lil wise guy, but he had enough of his growing audience & flew off.”
The owl remained perched in a tree near the zoo overnight before flying off into Central Park Friday morning. Multiple agencies are currently assisting in attempts to bring the owl, named Flaco, down from a tree in the southeast corner of the park.
The escape of the owl from the Central Park Zoo comes following reports of vandalism and missing animals at other zoos in the U.S. On Friday, Dallas police arrested a man in connection with the theft of two emperor tamarin monkeys from the Dallas Zoo. Also, 12 squirrel monkeys were stolen from Zoosiana, a Louisiana zoo, shortly before midnight on Saturday.
The Central Park Zoo is doing everything in its power to bring the owl, Flaco, back to safety and to the zoo. We hope that Flaco is found soon and that the other missing animals at other zoos around the country are found and returned to their rightful homes.