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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

Patna zoo is safe now: Set to reopen next week, bird flu ruled out

The zoo was shut for visitors on December 24 after peacocks found dead, Bhopal lab has ruled out bird flu. Recently, NIHSAD has confirmed there’s no bird flu virus at the Park and it is been safe for people.

patna Updated: Jan 18, 2019 09:03 IST
Reena Sopam
Reena Sopam
Hindustan Times, Patna
The government decided to close the zoo to ensure segregation of birds and to spray anti-viral disinfectants.
The government decided to close the zoo to ensure segregation of birds and to spray anti-viral disinfectants.(File)
         

The Sanjay Gandhi biological park, popularly known as Patna zoo, will soon reopen for general visitors and morning walkers, after being shut indefinitely from December 24, 2018.

After keeping the zoo shut for nearly a month for general visitors and fitness enthusiasts, authorities at the biological park are considering reopening it next week as Bhopal-based National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) has not found strains of virus which causes bird flu in samples collected earlier from the zoo.

Samples of 26 breeds of birds and that of soil and water at Patna zoo were sent a couple of weeks ago to NIHSAD for confirmation of the bird flu virus.

Altogether, six peacocks had died at the zoo and as NIHSAD had confirmed it was caused by avian influenza (H5N1), commonly known as bird flu. The government decided to close the zoo to ensure segregation of birds and to spray anti-viral disinfectants.

“We had to keep it closed to minimise the possibility of catching the infection. We got the park thoroughly sanitised, while the experts from the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Izatnagar, Bareily too came here and suggested the measures to check the spread of the virus,” said Amit Kumar, director, Sanjay Gandhi biological park. 

Recently, NIHSAD has confirmed there’s no bird flu virus at the Park and it is been safe for people. On January 15, NIHSAD has collected samples from these birds. “We are waiting for its reports. It’s expected by January 20 and once the negative report is received, Patna zoo will be reopened,” Kumar said.   

Official said the park remained closed during the peak season from December 25, 2018 to January 14. “Lakhs of Christmas and New Year revelers and the holidayers turn up to enjoy their vacation. But we had to keep it closed to avoid further infection and inconvenience to the visitors. For us the safety of visitors is the top priority,” Kumar said.

Kumar said there is no point of revenue loss as the park is not meant for commercial purposes. Instead it’s a live study centre, he said.

*Dec 24 2018: Patna zoo was closed after six peafowls were found dead.

*Dec. 24,2018: NIHSAD, Bhopal confirmed it died due to bird flu virus

*Dec. 25, 2018: Indian Veterinary Research Institute (Izatnagar) team arrived

*Dec. 30, 2018: Two more birds died at Patna zoo

*Dec. 31, 2018: Samples of 26 breeds of birds, soil, water at Patna zoo sent to the NIHSAD, Bhopal.

*Jan 15, 2019: NIHSAD confirmed negative reports of tests of the samples

*Jan 15, 2019: Another set of samples from Patna zoo sent to the NIHSAD

  

Some facts about Patna zoo

*It’s the only zoo in the state

*Was opened for public in 1972  

* Accommodates nearly 800 animals of 110 species including big cats and giraffe

*Entry fee for the adults: Rs 30

*Entry fee for kids:  Rs 5.    

First Published: Jan 18, 2019 09:03 IST