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Gladys, the Eurasian eagle-owl who died after escaping her trainers at the Minnesota Zoo, was likely hit by a vehicle, the zoo has determined. 

The 5-year-old owl, who was an animal ambassador for the zoo, was found on the side of the road on Oct. 14, two weeks after she went missing. At the time, her cause of death wasn't known but zoo officials said their veterinarian team would work to make a determination.

A pumpkin at the zoo's Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular featured Gladys. 

A pumpkin at the zoo's Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular featured Gladys. 

Zoo spokesperson Zach Nugent confirmed to Bring Me The News on Thursday that Gladys' injuries were "consistent with an impact, likely with a vehicle."

Gladys went missing on Oct. 1. She flew to a tree and didn't come back during a "routine exercise and training session" that was being held outdoors at the Apple Valley zoo. 

For a while, zoo staff tracked her through various trees on the zoo property. Sightings then became more sporadic, and zoo officials asked neighbors to keep an eye out for the bird. 

Gladys was found on the side of the road by a "concerned neighbor" the morning of Oct. 14. The zoo's veterinary team responded right away, but she had already died. 

Eurasian eagle-owls are native to much of Europe, and parts of Asia and northern Africa. They are among the largest owl species in the world. Its population fell drastically in the first half of the 20th century but has begun to rebound thanks to the adoption of certain protections.

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