Does it get any sadder than this?

Otto, one-half of the popular red-tailed hawk duo that lived on Syracuse University's campus, has died just five days after his longtime mate Sue.

Students from the SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry reported a felled red-tailed hawk on the grounds of the Oakwood Cemetery on January 19th. The students contacted bird enthusiast Anne Marie Higgins, an unofficial expert on the pair who also runs the Red-Tailed Hawk Tales Facebook page. Higgins confirmed the sad news: It was indeed Sue's widowed mate Otto.

Otto's body was taken to Cornell University's Animal Health Diagnostic Center to determine a cause of death, but does anyone really need an analysis? It was heartbreak.

Red-Tailed Hawk Tales via Facebook
Red-Tailed Hawk Tales via Facebook

Sue was first reported dead from head trauma after she was found on the ground back on January 13th. Both Sue and Otto lived on Syracuse University's campus since 2012 and bore 28 chicks together. They became fan favorites around campus after a "nest cam" was installed near their habitat, where people could check in on them around the clock.

Countless people dropped in on the Red-Tailed Hawk Tales Facebook page to express their sorrow. Page moderator Higgins said:

This is tragic for Syracuse University, the local community and so many loyal fans all over the world.

Red-tailed hawks are not endangered, and can be found throughout most of the United States. It's reasonable to believe another pair could make Syracuse University their home in the future.

Once again, we offer condolences to the staff and students of Syracuse University for the loss of two majestic animals.

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