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Flaco, the escaped Central Park Zoo owl, died in February. What happened to his remains?

What is being done with the remains of Flaco the owl?
What is being done with the remains of Flaco the owl? 00:27

NEW YORK -- The Wildlife Conservation Society has released new details about what is being done with the remains of Flaco, the beloved Eurasian eagle-owl who escaped the Central Park Zoo in 2023.

Flaco died back in February after he collided with a building.

Where are Flaco's remains?

According to the WCS, Flaco's wings were sent to the American Museum of Natural History, along with tissue samples. The society says they will become part of the museum's scientific collection and will not be on public view.

The WCS says the museum's collections are used by scientists and artists.

The rest of Flaco's remains have been archived at the Bronx Zoo's Wildlife Health Center.

Jesse Zanger

How did Flaco die?

Flaco escaped from his zoo exhibit on Feb. 2, 2023 after someone cut the steel mesh of his enclosure.

The 13-year-old owl eluded all attempts to capture him and spent a year flying free around Manhattan, but in late February, Flaco was found unresponsive after apparently colliding with a building on West 89th Street.

The WCS said postmortem testing found that in addition to suffering traumatic injuries from the collision, Flaco had four kinds of rat poison in his system and had contracted a severe case of "pigeon herpesvirus" from eating feral pigeons.

"These factors would have been debilitating and ultimately fatal, even without a traumatic injury, and may have predisposed him to flying into or falling from the building," the zoo wrote.

Since Flaco's death, New York City Councilmembers have introduced three bills known as "Flaco's Laws," which propose using rat contraception instead of poison to control the city's rat population and installing new lighting and windows with markers to reduce bird collisions with buildings.

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