Bird flu scare: Mysuru zoo on high alert

Staff at KLNP keeping a close watch on migratory birds

Updated - December 02, 2016 11:57 am IST

Published - October 27, 2016 12:00 am IST - MYSURU:

being cautious:Visitors entering Mysuru zoo after dipping their feet in a disinfectant solution on Wednesday.— PHOTO: M.A. SRIRAM

being cautious:Visitors entering Mysuru zoo after dipping their feet in a disinfectant solution on Wednesday.— PHOTO: M.A. SRIRAM

The century-old Mysuru zoo is on high alert after reports of suspected bird flu in some parts of the country.

The Central Zoo Authority of India (CZA), in its communication, has asked them to take necessary precautionary measures in the light of fresh cases of suspected avian influenza (H5N1).

The Delhi zoo had been shut temporarily after some birds died of suspected H5N1.

Mysuru zoo director Kamala K. told The Hindu that the zoo had received CZA’s communication and taken steps accordingly with round-the-clock surveillance of birds.

The walk-through aviary at Karanji Lake Nature Park (KLNP), which is under the control of Mysuru zoo, has also been under close watch as a lot of winged varieties have been housed there.

Ms. Kamala said visitors are made to enter the zoo premises dipping their feet in disinfectant solution as a deterrent measure. The vehicles carrying food supplies to the zoo also enter the premises with their tyres immersed in disinfectant solution, she explained.

“The zoo keepers have been asked to clean the bird enclosures daily with antiseptics and report immediately in case of sick birds and bird deaths. So far, there have been no reports,” Ms. Kamala said.

She said the staff at KLNP had been asked to monitor migratory birds nesting in the lake environs. “As they can be carriers of the flu, we have taken all precautions to ensure health of our birds. Also, no bird deaths had been noticed around the lake surroundings,” she said.

The zoo management has continued to feed chicken to its mega carnivores only after thoroughly washing and boiling the meat.

“We get live fowls from a regular supplier for our carnivores and their health is checked before they are allowed inside the zoo. So far, there have been no issues since the fowls, after culling, are adequately boiled before feeding,” Ms. Kamala said and added: “If necessary, we will stop procuring live fowls from the market and instead go for processed meat.”

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