The Gwalior Zoo officials are optimistic about its re-opening soon after completion of sterilization and sanitization (disinfection) operation of area spreading over 8 hectare. Except for one cage in which painted storks were kept and died of bird flu earlier, the remaining area of zoo will be inspected by authorities for final consent.
Although the infected cage was thoroughly decontaminated and sterilized, it will remain shut for three more months. The zoo was closed on October 22 following outbreak of bird flu infection (N5H8) among the painted storks. At least 24 storks caged in one enclosure had died during third week of October here.
Deputy director of veterinary OP Tripathi said the final call to re-open zoo will be taken jointly by the committee members headed by the collector and in accordance with experts. The experts from Central Zoo Authority (CZA) and Bhopal-based National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases will inspect the zoo for physical verification after local authority express their readiness. Hopefully by the first week of December 2016, the zoo will re-open for public, added Tripathi. He expressed satisfaction with the sterilization operations by the local zoo authorities here.
Tripathi said samples were collected from places including government poultry farms, poultry farm vendors/traders etc spread across the city and sent to Bhopal lab for testing. All samples tested negative. ‘But we are still continuing with the monitoring operation including in nearby villages within 10 km periphery’, Tripathi said. He said as per guidelines the infected cage can be re-used only after three months after extensive decontamination operation.
Zoo in-charge Pradeep Shrivastava said the cleaning and whitewashing was underway after sterilization and decontamination operation of entire area. About 300 birds of various species and animals inside the zoo were healthy. The zoo was closed on October 22 last.