John Ball Zoo now home to 2 snowy owls

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — John Ball Zoo has two new feathered friends.

A pair of snowy owls — a male and female — can be seen in their new habitat in the Forest Realm of the Grand Rapids zoo.

The male is an 8-year-old named Zenon, who came from the Traverse City area. He’s more white and smaller than the female. The female, 3-year-old Khione, who has more brown spots on her feathers, came from central Michigan.

Both of the owls moved to the zoo from raptor rehabilitation centers, but both suffered injuries that left them unable to survive in the wild. Zenon has a shoulder injury that means he can’t fly long distances. Khione has a wing injury and can’t fly at all.

The zoo hopes the pair will mate as part of a program to protect the snowy owl, which is considered vulnerable in the wild. Their population is threatened mostly by humans, who may hunt them.

The new habitat is in the Forest Realm is near the Amur tigers exhibit.

The zoo off W. Fulton Street at Valley Avenue is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. most days through November. Right now, tickets are $12 for children 3-12 and $15 for adults. Children 2 and under always get in free.

Online:

Project SNOWstorm

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