Two new permanent residents have settled in at John Ball Zoo. Stop by and say "hello" to Zenon and Khione -- two snowy owls.

You can visit the new birds in their newly constructed habitat which is located in the Idema Forest Realm of the Zoo (near the Amur tigers). You will be able to tell the two apart from their coloring. The males are typically more uniformly white and smaller than the females. The females usually have a more black speckled pattern to their feathers.

Snowy Owls typically live and nest in the far north regions around the North Pole. In the non-breeding season, the birds also can be found in areas of southern Canada and the northern United States, as well as parts of Asia and Europe.

Where are these birds from?

Zenon arrived from a raptor rehabilitator near Traverse City. He had a shoulder injury. Because he is unable to fly for long distances, he could not be released back into the wild.

Khione came from a rehabilitator in central Michigan. She injured her wing and is unable to fly.

What do their names mean?

Eight year old Zenon is named after Zeno the Greek philosopher. Khione, who is about 3 years old, is named after the Greek goddess of snow.

Will we have baby snowy owls?

That is the hope. John Ball Zoo is hoping for a mating match between the two as part of the Species Survival Plan. This group oversees the population management of select species within the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

A few other tidbits from the zoo...

How does a grizzly bear keep cool during a hot 4th of July? Just like a lot of people, by swimming in a pool and playing with a ball. Click here to see the video of Boo Boo cooling off.

Adult Night Out at the Zoo will be on Thursday, July 15th. This will be the third of six events. Adult Night Out gives guests ages 21+ the opportunity to experience the Zoo at night without any kids. You will find select animal encounters along with beer, wine, and seltzer selections, and food options throughout the Zoo. The three remaining Adult Night Out evenings will be on July 29th, August 12th, and August 26th. Admission is $18 for zoo members and $20 for nonmembers. The event runs from 6-9 pm. Tickets have timed entry times. Available times are 6:00, 6:15, 6:30, and 6:45 pm. Get your tickets now.

John Ball Zoo is located on the west side of Grand Rapids at 1300 W. Fulton. Visit their website at


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