Four crow carcasses were found at Shakti Sthal near Rajghat on Saturday, taking the toll due to suspected bird flu to 77.
An animal husbandry department official said samples had been sent to the animal diseases laboratory in Bhopal and results would come within two-three days.
“We don’t know the exact reason behind the crow deaths in the vicinity of the water body at Shakti Sthal. Crows and ducks, usually, are more immune to these kind of viruses compared to other birds. The carcasses were spotted at different spots. So we can’t be sure about the reason,” the official told HT.
A duck had died at Shakti Sthal on Thursday but it was already sick for a couple of days, government officials said.
Like Shakti Sthal, Delhi zoo, the Hauz Khas district park and Paschim Vihar DDA Park are already shut. Sources had said it would take at least 45 days to declare the zoo as completely safe and before it can be opened again.
“After the deaths stop, tests will be done every 15 days and the zoo won’t be reopened until we are completely sure that it is virus-free. This may take up to three months,” an official had said.
A total of 12 water birds, including painted storks, ducks and pelicans died of H5 avian influenza on its premises since October 14. A team of Central Zoo Authority is stationed at the zoo to monitor the situation.
“Samples taken from birds such as duck, pelican, crow and munia bird earlier this month from the National Zoological Park were sent to ICAR-National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases. Many of the results were positive for H5N8,” a statement by the committee formed by the Union environment ministry to monitor the bird flu outbreak had earlier said.
The government has decided to put on hold the culling operations for the time being in the infected zone. All government departments have been asked to spread lime powder around every water body.
Officials are spraying anti-virus sodium hypochlorite on birds. Those who are handling dead birds are being given tamiflu vaccine. Spots where migratory birds gather are being closely monitored.