Orissa on Friday alerted forest and wildlife officials of a prominent wildlife sanctuary in Kendrapada district in the wake of confirmed bird flu cases in some parts of the northeastern state of Manipur.
The Bhitarkanika sanctuary, about 170 kms from Bhubaneswar, is famous for a large number of species of migratory birds.
"We have been alerted by the government to remain alert in view of the confirmed bird flu cases in Manipur," AK Mishra, senior forest officer of the park, said.
"We are monitoring migratory birds particularly bar-headed geese, Brahminy Duck, great black-headed gull, shovellers, who experts say carry the deadly H5N1 strain," he said.
District veterinary officer Girish Chandra Sar said, "we have been drawing blood samples from the sick birds thrice a year and sending them to the Animal Disease Research Institute (ADRI) in Bhubaneswar as per the direction of the government.
"We have also trained 40 poultry farm owners of the district to detect flu-affected birds," he added.
Bhitarkanika is also known as the world's largest rookery of Olive Ridley sea turtles.