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Hoo-Dunnit? Central Park’s Beloved ‘Barry’ The Owl Had Potentially Lethal Levels Of Rat Poison In Her System When She Flew Into A Truck

  New York City is mourning the loss of Barry, a beloved barred owl who moved into Central Park in October 2020. The 2-year-old bird was kil...

 New York City is mourning the loss of Barry, a beloved barred owl who moved into Central Park in October 2020.

The 2-year-old bird was killed when she slammed into a Central Park Conservancy maintenance vehicle in early August and had previously “captivated New Yorkers with frequent daytime appearances and performative behavior,” according to the Daily Mail.

In news that is sure to further ruffle the feathers of those adding to the growing memorial for Barry, a necropsy of the owl revealed that potentially “lethal” levels of rat poisons were found in her liver.

According to the state Department of Environmental Conservation report, “potentially lethal” traces of two anticoagulant rat killers, bromadiolone and difethialone, were found and could have impacted her motor skills, with FWI (Flying While Intoxicated) likely causing her untimely death.

“It is with a heavy heart that we share that a barred owl, a beloved Central Park resident, passed away early this morning,” announced Central Park NYC on Twitter in August. “Flying low, likely in search of a meal, the barred owl made contact with a Conservancy maintenance vehicle at approximately 2:30am. Conservancy staff immediately reported the incident and Urban Park Rangers were contacted.”

“The barred owl’s presence in Central Park brought so much joy, reminding all of us that the Park is a vital greenspace for all New Yorkers, including the wildlife that call it home.”

The necropsy was carried out days later, but the report was only made public on Monday after the non-profit news outlet, The City, uncovered the truth via a Freedom of Information Law request.

Blunt force trauma ultimately killed the bird, the report said, but the veterinarians who conducted the necropsy speculated that the poisons impaired the two-year-old owl’s motor skills [and] prevented it from avoiding the collision,” the Daily Mail explained.

“The bromadiolone [rat poison] level is potentially lethal,” the report states. “But it is unclear if it played a role in the death of this owl, i.e. was the anticoagulant affecting the owl’s ability to avoid collision with the vehicle.”

Barry was described as “Central Park’s new celebrity bird” by a feature piece in The New York Times in November 2020.

Currently known as Barry, the owl has intense black eyes and elegant poufs of white feathers streaked with brown and gray. He looks like a perfect stuffed animal from a high-end toy store,” The New York Times reported, misgendering the winged creature. “But Barry is also unusual. Though owls are typically nocturnal, he makes regular daytime appearances, and has become something of a performer. Practically vogueing, he stares, preens and swoops into the shallow stream to wash and flick his feathers. Barry will turn his head 270 degrees right and left and up above to check for his archenemy, the hawk. He plucks chipmunks with his talons and devours them, seemingly unfazed by adoring fans and the paparazzi, many of whom have already made him Instagram-famous.”

As mourners now search for the source of the poison which was found in Barry’s system, New Yorkers are avidly glued to their city’s latest hoo-dunnit.

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