The Akron Zoo is sad to share that the zoo’s snowy owl owlets have passed away. The owlets passed away in the early morning on Tuesday, Aug. 23. An animal autopsy, known as a necropsy, was conducted and results were inconclusive. There were no visible signs of trauma, injury or illness. Pathology reports will be sent out for further evaluation.
The owlets hatched on Sunday, July 31 and Wednesday, Aug. 3. Their hatching was a first for the Akron Zoo. The zoo’s adult snowy owls, male Frost and female Cirrus, remain in good health.
Snowy owls are listed as vulnerable to extinction by IUCN Red List. The Akron Zoo participates in the Snowy Owl Species Survival Plan (SSP), a breeding plan that works to ensure genetic diversity in species across zoos that are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, like the Akron Zoo.
According to the SSP, snowy owls have a 33% mortality rate in their first year.
“We are heartbroken at the sudden passing of our two owlets,” said Shane Good, senior director of animal care at the Akron Zoo. “Our avian care team worked tirelessly to provide a comfortable environment for our snowy owls to breed, and we will continue to offer Frost and Cirrus the best care. The unexpected loss of our owlets is very deeply felt by our staff, who dedicate their lives to providing exceptional care to all our animal residents every day.”
Frost and Cirrus remain in the zoo’s snowy owl habitat daily.