ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A pair of snowy owls have been hatched at Seneca Park Zoo for the first time ever, Monroe County Executive Adam Bello announced Monday.

The snowy owelets hatched on June 29 and July 4 this year. Snowy owls are rare in zoos and are considered vulnerable by scientists.

“This has been an exciting year for Seneca Park Zoo, with the successful birth of two giraffe calves, a litter of Canada lynx and now two snowy owl owlets,” said Monroe County Executive Adam Bello. “I’m happy to welcome these hatchlings to the Seneca Park Zoo family and thank the expert zookeepers and staff who work so hard every day to ensure the welfare and good health of all our animals.” 

Mom Winter was hatched in 2011 and came to Seneca Park Zoo in 2012 from the Bramble Park Zoo in South Dakota. Dad Tundra was hatched in July 2013 and came from Pennsylvania. 

According to zoo officials, both owlets are in healthy condition and being fed by their parents.

“The owlets are doing great,” said Seneca Park Zoo Director Steve Lacy. “Both female and male adults, Winter and Tundra, bring them small mice. They are growing rapidly, and within a few months, we expect them to be indistinguishable from their parents.” 

The babies reside in the Rocky Coasts region of the Zoo, and zoo guests are just beginning to get their first glimpses of them. Seneca Park Zoo is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. across the week.