Like a favourite pair of jeans, the Assiniboine Park Zoo’s snowy owls will be nice and cozy.
That’s thanks in part to a donation of $500,000 from Weston-based Silver Jeans Co. to the Assiniboine Park Conservancy’s $200-million Imagine a Place campaign. The contribution will be officially commemorated in the Snowy Owl exhibit inside the 10-acre Journey to Churchill exhibit, which is slated to open on July 3.
The zoo has six snowy owls, who will be moved into the new habitat just before the exhibit’s opening. Organizers say there will be "a variety of natural elements that will create a realistic and stimulating habitat for the birds," according to a release.
"The snowy owls are the first animals people will see when they enter Journey to Churchill and this beautiful habitat will set the tone for an amazing visitor experience," Assiniboine Park Conservancy president and CEO Margaret Redmond said in a release.
Bob Silver, the CEO of Silver Jeans’ parent company Western Glove Works, feels it’s important to be able to showcase the birds to people who might not get to otherwise experience them.
"This project will not only bring the beauty and wonder of the most majestic animal species indigenous to the north climates to the people of Winnipeg but also educate our community on the very important global issues of climate change and conservation," Silver said in the release.
The habitat has capacity for 10 to 12 owls should hatchlings be born at the zoo in the future.