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A year after becoming beloved by New York City for a zoo escape, celebrity owl Flaco dies.

Flaco, the daring Eurasian eagle-owl that captured the hearts of New Yorkers after his escape from the Central Park Zoo, has tragically met his end. Zoo officials announced on Friday that Flaco had passed away after colliding with a building on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

The beloved owl’s journey began over a year ago when vandals breached his exhibit at the zoo, setting him free into the wilds of New York City. Despite efforts by authorities to recapture him, Flaco remained elusive, carving out a new life for himself amidst the urban landscape.

Flaco quickly became a symbol of resilience and adaptability, thriving in a habitat far removed from his natural environment. Residents delighted in spotting him perched on fire escapes or hunting rats in the city’s parks. His nocturnal exploits and unexpected appearances endeared him to many, earning him a dedicated following on social media.

News of Flaco’s passing has sparked an outpouring of grief among New Yorkers, who had grown accustomed to his presence in their midst. David Barrett, a renowned bird watcher who closely monitored Flaco’s movements, has proposed a memorial at the owl’s favorite spot in Central Park. This gesture would allow Flaco’s admirers to pay their respects and honor his memory.

Flaco’s untimely demise serves as a poignant reminder of the challenges faced by urban wildlife and the importance of protecting and preserving their habitats. It also highlights the need for increased vigilance against acts of vandalism and the impact they can have on vulnerable species.

As New Yorkers mourn the loss of their beloved owl, they are reminded of the fleeting nature of life in the city and the bonds that can form between humans and animals, even in the unlikeliest of circumstances. Flaco may be gone, but his spirit lives on in the hearts of those who were touched by his remarkable story.

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