Snow is in the forecast at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, WA, with the hatching of a Snowy Owl chick on June 13! The chick marks the first offspring between the mom, estimated to be 22 years old, and the father, 14 years old. It's gender has not been determined.
“At this time the chick isn’t visible to visitors because the mom is sitting on the nest and providing very good care,” curator Jennifer Pramuk said in a statement from the Zoo. “Our expert zookeepers are monitoring the owlet, which appears to be in good health. It’s growing very quickly, so visitors should be able to spot it in a week or two.”
In zoos, the Snowy Owl population experienced a dramatic decline due to West Nile virus, which is spread by infected mosquitoes to birds. Owls and hawks were especially susceptible to the virus, causing acute death. Few zoos have been successful in breeding Snowy Owls within recent years.