Gray Frame Corner

NYC mourns Flaco, an owl who inspired and shaped the city.

People in Central Park and throughout the city talked about what the bird and his improbable year of freedom meant to them, often beneath Flaco's favorite trees.  

For thirty years, Pjetar Nikac has served as the superintendent of an eight-story apartment building next to Riverside Park at 267 West 89th Street. He would never forget what transpired that Friday.  

Around five o'clock in the evening, Mr. Nikac was making his way back from a trip to the shop when he saw something on the ground in the building's courtyard.  

He remarked, "I thought it was a rock." "As I got closer, I noticed: an owl."  

Mr. Nikac recognized at once that it was Flaco, the Eurasian eagle-owl that, having left the Central Park Zoo three weeks prior, had become a resident of Manhattan's relative wildness.  

His enclosure's mesh had been sliced open in an unsolved act of vandalism.  

It seems that Flaco collided with the structure.  

Even though Flaco was still alive when Mr. Nikac discovered him and building resident and birder Alan Drogin hurried to get him help, Flaco was soon declared dead.  

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