An owl that escaped from a vandalized cage at New York City’s Central Park Zoo is hunting, and thankfully thriving, in the wild, according to updates from zoo staff.
Earlier this month, Skinny, a Eurasian eagle owl, escaped from his cage after vandals blew a hole through his steel mesh barrier. The owl was then observed making a tour of Manhattan, stopping at places like Fifth Avenue in New York and several locations near Central Park.
According to a recent report from the Central Park Zoo, the eagle owl’s welfare has always been our first priority. “Based on our observations, it appears to be at ease in the park’s hunting territory. And nothing we do should serve to tempt you away from this page.
Additionally, the zoo noted that they have seen “rapid improvement in their flying skills and in their ability to confidently maneuver around the park.”
The zoo also reports seeing Skinny successfully hunting, trapping, and consuming prey.
Staff noticed the protective steel mesh was open when they first noticed the Eurasian Eagle Owl missing from the zoo display on Thursday, February 2, around 8:30 p.m. The scenario, which the zoo reminds the public, was caused by “a purposeful illegal conduct that endangers the safety of the bird and is still under investigation by the NYPD,” the zoo says.
They have appeared on social media, and the birding community has documented Flaco’s movements around the park. One user dubbed Flaco “Flaco the Fugitive” and used the hashtag. #ZooEscapee.
An enthusiastic pre-flight yelling performance was reported in a tweet from Valentine’s Day that was posted by Manhattan Bird Alert, a well-known birding account on Twitter, which has been posting updates and pictures of Flaco frequently.
One of the first zoos in America to open its doors was the Central Park Zoo, which dates back to 1861. The zoo spans seven acres along the southeast corner of Central Park.