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Three more bird deaths, Delhi zoo remains shut

delhi Updated: Oct 21, 2016 01:19 IST
Ritam Halder
avian flu

The Deer Park in New Delhi’s Hauz Khas Village is shut on Thursday as a precaution after eight birds died of flu.(Arun Sharma/HT )

Three more bird deaths were reported on Thursday at the Delhi zoo, which has been shut down indefinitely due to bird flu scare.

“A couple of pelicans were found dead in their enclosure this morning. Later, a dead wild hen was also spotted,” a zoo official said.

The zoo has been shut since Tuesday after nine water birds, including painted storks, ducks and pelicans died here. Three of these were found to have H5 avian influenza, making it the first-ever bird flu outbreak in Delhi.

Two deaths were reported on October 14 while six others were found dead on October 15. Samples of the carcasses were sent to the Jalandhar lab, which detected symptoms of some virus. Retests at the High Security Animal Diseases Laboratory in Bhopal confirmed H5N1 virus in three birds.

Read more: Delhi poultry traders brace for bird flu hit, say mutton prices may go up

A team of Central Zoo Authority is now inspecting all the enclosures at the zoo.

“The enclosures of painted storks and pelicans are close by. So, there is a chance of spread of infection. We will have a definite answer once the inspection is over,” a zoo official said.

The animal husbandry department has procured 200 personal protective equipment (PPE) kits, which are being used by the personnel at the zoo.

Delhi government’s development department officials said a team of experts from the laboratories in Bhopal, Jalandhar and Bareilly will visit the zoo on Friday.

“Seven samples of blood and saliva of some of the caged birds at the zoo have also been collected. These samples have been taken to a Delhi government laboratory in Palam from where they will be transported to Jalandhar. We have also sent samples of the carcasses found on Thursday,” one of the officials said.