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Flaco, Central Park Owl, Died With High Levels of Rat Poison in System

Flaco, the Eurasian eagle-owl whose escape from the Central Park Zoo and life on the loose captivated New York, had potentially lethal amounts of rodenticide in his system as well as a severe pigeon virus when he died last month after striking an Upper West Side building.

The findings, from a necropsy conducted by Bronx Zoo pathologists after Flacoโ€™s death on Feb. 23, validated widespread concerns about the hazards he faced living as a free bird in Manhattan for just over a year. He would have turned 14 this month.

โ€œFlacoโ€™s severe illness and death are ultimately attributed to a combination of factors โ€” infectious disease, toxin exposures, and traumatic injuries โ€” that underscore the hazards faced by wild birds, especially in an urban setting,โ€ the Wildlife Conservation Society, which operates the Central Park and Bronx zoos, said in a statement.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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