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Commentary By Nicole Gelinas

Flaco’s Life and Death Another Example of NYC Progressivism Gone Awry

Culture New York, New York City

So Flaco the Eurasian eagle-owl is dead — killed in a collision with an Upper West Side building Friday, a year after vandals cut the wires on his cage, just inside the Central Park Zoo.

Well-meaning, naïve New Yorkers had spun the owl’s story as a feel-good tale: Flaco had seemed happy in the “wild,” so, vandals aside, all’s well that ends well.

In fact, it always was a tale of vicious vandals — who still haven’t been caught — maliciously abusing a defenseless animal, abuse that has resulted in that animal’s cruel killing.

In early February 2023, criminal vandals broke into Flaco’s cage, allowing the bird, a creature of the zoo for 12 years, to fly away.

At first, the zoo frantically tried to recapture Flaco.

With the bird’s survival in peril, the press and the public played the story straight.

The owl “was the subject of an intense rescue effort late Friday after getting loose as a result of vandals,” The New York Times wrote, and serious birdwatchers worried about his ability to hunt.

Continue reading the entire piece here at the New York Post


Nicole Gelinas is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and contributing editor at City Journal. Follow her on Twitter here.

Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images