MANHATTAN (PIX11) — Where’s Flaco? The rare Eurasian eagle-owl, who had been living in Central Park for nine months after escaping the zoo, was last seen Saturday night on East 13th Street and Second Avenue in the East Village.
Urban Owl Watcher, David Lei told PIX11 News he heard Flaco hooting last week and snapped some photos of him on the Lower East Side.
“It’s sort of a hoo, hoo, and he’ll do it repeatedly for some time,” Lei said.
David Barrett, who runs “Manhattan Bird Alert” on X (formally Twitter), told PIX11 he believed Flaco is hooting around downtown to look for a mate.
“Hopefully he finds love in the East Village, we’re all looking for love in the East Village,” a passerby in the East Village joked.
However, Flaco won’t find love ever in New York City.
“There are no mates available for him. He’s the only one of his species in the wild in all of North America,” Barrett said.
According to Barrett, a mate can’t be brought to Flaco because he is “a non-native species.”
“Flaco is a Eurasian eagle owl and we don’t have those in North America, so we can’t be introducing a nonnative species and allowing it to breed here,” said Barrett.
“Very soon he’ll realize there’s no mate out here, and we hope he’ll go home to Central Park,” Lei told PIX11 News.
Experts said it’s safer there with fewer people and fewer cars.