Saxony: Again offspring at snowy owls in zoo

Görlitz (dpa/sn) - After a seven-year break, there has again been a breeding success for snowy owls in the Görlitz-Zgorzelec nature conservation animal park.

Saxony: Again offspring at snowy owls in zoo

Görlitz (dpa/sn) - After a seven-year break, there has again been a breeding success for snowy owls in the Görlitz-Zgorzelec nature conservation animal park. About six weeks ago, after about four weeks of incubation, a female cub hatched, curator Catrin Hammer said on Wednesday. The gray chick has already grown into a stately young owl with anthracite-colored plumage. "Young and adult female snowy owls have white-and-black banded plumage that gives them better protection from potential predators," Hammer explained. Snow white are only adult males.

According to Hammer, there were four young in 2015 in these birds, which are native to arctic regions. Since then, age or the lack of sexual maturity of animals have stood in the way of further breeding success. Three years ago, the now five-year-old male Flocke came into the aviary with Hedwig, who at 21 is older and has experience with offspring.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red listed the snowy owl as endangered in 2017. The number of free-living animals is falling continuously, said Hammer. The reason is the thawing permafrost, which is changing the ecosystem of their breeding areas and making the diurnal snowy owl "a classic loser of climate change". However, it is well represented in zoos and animal parks. She has been bred in Görlitz for decades - and offspring are later given to other institutions according to the stud book.

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