More deaths were reported from the quarantined Hauz Khas Park reported on Friday, even as Delhi development minister Gopal Rai took stock of the situation and announced a slew of measure to combat bird flu.
Though minister Rai said that six ducks were found dead inside the park on Friday, officials claimed the number to be much higher.
Sources said 10 ducks died at the Delhi Development Authority district park, which is around the Hauz Khas lake, on Friday taking the total number of duck deaths due to suspected avian flu to 15.
Officials said that they suspected bird flu behind the deaths but the actual reason could be ascertained only after lab reports came in.
“The dead birds were found close to a water body in the district park. We are trying our best to control the situation. The park has been closed,” a DDA official said.
The carcasses of the birds have been sent to a laboratory in Bhopal and the reports are expected to come in the next two days.
“We can comment on the exact reason behind the death of the birds after seeing the final report,” he said.
Hauz Khas Park is spread over an area of 400 acres and has four major landscape features — the Deer Park, the District Park, the Rose Garden and a sports field. All the landscape features are inter-connected by woodlands consisting of man-made plantations and degraded natural thorny scrub.
“The district park, which is under quarantine, is spread around 90 acres. The area is like a saucer shaped depression between elevated areas on all the sides. There are more than 400 ducks in the park,” a government official said.
The Delhi zoo still continued to remain shut on Friday even as experts from Bhopal and Bareilly visited it on Friday and collected samples.
“Samples of dead birds carcasses, blood and saliva are now being sent directly to the High Security Animal Diseases Laboratory in Bhopal. Reports are expected on Monday evening and can provide conclusive evidence on the reason behind the bird deaths and also help ascertain threat, if at all, to livestock,” said an official.