As many as ten birds have died at the Bhagwan Birsa Zoological Park recently. The birds included three lesser adjutant stork, two white ibis and five grass owls. As per the post mortem repots, the birds died due to a severe case of bird flu.
“Initially it was not known but later on it was confirmed to be bird flu. Suspecting it to be an acute virus all necessary precautions have been taken as per the protocol and guidelines. There have been no further deaths since February 25,” said Director of Birsa Zoological Park, D Venkateshwarlu.
The first incident occurred on February 23 where seven birds died and the second one on February 25 when there were three more casualties of those birds which were segregated from the lot.
“The first incident took place on February 23 when all of a sudden seven birds died. The birds had not been showing any signs or symptoms of any disease. As per the initial post mortem report per acute type of viral infection was found,” said Dr Ajay Kumar, a veterinary doctor at the zoo.
The samples of the birds were sent to Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, Kolkata and later on also to National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases, Bhopal. The latter confirmed that the birds died due to avian influenza.
“The reports were sent by the institute to the Government of India which further issued directives of following the action plan for the prevention, cure and containment of the disease. An inspection team also visited the premises to enquire about the health of the persons interacting with the aviaries and to also know about the health status of the people in and around the zoo.
The team has given various instructions to remain vigilant, monitor any unusual deaths of birds and identify any symptoms in
humans so that they can be treated immediately,” added the Director.
Venkateshwarlu further stated that since then there has no further death which means that the spread of the virus is under control. “More samples of live birds will again be sent to the laboratories to check the presence of any disease. If not detected, it can be safely assumed that the bird flu has been controlled,” he said.
The zoo authorities are taking all the necessary precautions to curtail its spread amongst other species and humans.
Preventive measures like application of lime disinfectant on the ground have been done. Cages and barriers have been sprayed with anti viral sprays.
The zoo staff has been briefed about the necessary sanitization methods which need to be followed. They have also been provided with gloves, gum boots and other personnel protective equipment.
As per the State government’s directive, the zoon will remain closed till April 14