Kolkata Zoo on avian flu alert after death of migratory birds in Delhi
The Delhi zoo has been temporarily shut after the death of nine birds.kolkata Updated: Oct 21, 2016 10:38 IST
The Central Zoo Authority of India (CZAI) has put zoos in Alipore, Kolkata, and Darjeeling on avian flu alert after the death of some migratory birds in Delhi. The zoo in the country’s capital has been shut for the past few days.
“We have alerted zoos across the country, including the one in Kolkata and Darjeeling, after reports that birds have died in Delhi zoo because of bird flu. Similar reports have also come in from the Gwalior zoo,” DN Singh, member secretary of CZAI, told HT on Thursday over the phone from Delhi.
The CZAI advisory has asked the zoo authorities to monitor the health of all birds --- migratory, local and caged --- and immediately report if there are any deaths. Employees at the zoo have also been advised to wear masks and gloves.
“Zoo authorities have been asked to immediately send samples to the High Security Animal Diseases Laboratory at Bhopal in case birds are found dead either in cages or within the premises. To protect zoo-keepers from any contact, we have asked them to wear gloves and masks while handing carcasses,” Singh said.
The Delhi zoo has been temporarily shut after the death of nine birds. Officials said only masked staff members are being allowed inside the complex as it has been quarantined. Specific alerts have also been sent to Gwalior zoo after the death of some birds.
“Till date we have not received any reports of bird deaths either from Kolkata or Darjeeling zoo. But the authorities have been asked to remain alert. They have been asked to work in coordination with the state animal husbandry department if there are any bird deaths and the samples test positive of the avian flu virus. If needed the zoo would be shut down so that officials can quarantine and sanitize the facility,” Singh added.
The Alipore zoo in Kolkata --- one of the oldest facilities in the country --- has a collection of over 500 birds in more than a dozen aviary houses. The large water body inside the premises attracts a large number of migratory birds during this time of the year.