The beloved Central Park owl that captivated jaded New Yorkers before being killed in a collision with a truck had rat poison at dangerous and “potentially fatal” levels, authorities said Tuesday .
Barry, a 2-year-old barred owl and celebrity in Manhattan’s avid birdwatching community, died when she was struck by a Central Park Conservancy maintenance vehicle in the wee hours of August 6.
But what was unknown at the time of death was the level of poison that was inside Barry’s liver, which could have impaired his ability to fly and possibly avoid this truck, reported for the first time Monday night the nonprofit digital news agency The City.
The wildlife health unit of the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation performed an autopsy on August 10.
And while “the final diagnosis is that the owl died of a blunt trauma corresponding to a car accident,” the examiners also found rat poisons Bromadiolone and Difethialone in the creature’s liver, according to a summary from the ‘autopsy.
“The level of bromadiolone is potentially fatal but it is not known whether it played a direct role in the death of this owl, i.e. whether the anticoagulant affected the owl’s ability to avoid a collision. with the vehicle “, according to the report.
“There is no way to definitively determine this. Regardless of the collision with a vehicle, this barred owl was at significant risk of fatal hemorrhage from secondary exposure to bromadiolone in prey. poisoned, probably rats, mice, chipmunks and squirrels. “
There was no evidence, cited in the report, that Barry was intentionally poisoned.
The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation bans the use of rat poisons found inside Barry, but reportedly has no control over these rodenticides beyond the park’s borders, a gate said on Tuesday. -speak of the agency.
The park uses “rodenticides listed as ‘low to moderately low’ for non-target animals at risk,” according to park representative Crystal Howard.
“Predatory birds must hunt for food and often, like their prey, find their food outside the park boundaries,” Howard said in a statement. “NYC Parks is committed to integrated pest management because our parks are home to many birds of prey, where we have made a lot of progress, especially in the parks where they nest. “
While pigeons are the Big Apple’s best-known birds, owls have also found a way to nest in the hearts of many New Yorkers.
A little owl became a big celebrity in Gotham last year after it was found in the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree – which had been shot in upstate New York and then trucked 170 miles away from the city.
The adult male Saw-whet, the smallest variety of owl from the Northeast, was rehabilitated after days without food or water, named “Rockefeller” and then released.