Bird flu in Bengaluru has zoo, Karanji park on alert

The entire 45-acre zoo campus was sanitised by a team of zoo workers.

January 04, 2018 12:11 am | Updated 09:04 am IST - MYSURU

Workers sanitising the Mysuru zoo premises on Wednesday.

Workers sanitising the Mysuru zoo premises on Wednesday.

The Mysuru zoo and Karanji Lake Nature Park here were placed on alert on Wednesday following reports of bird flu in Bengaluru.

Though procurement of chicken has not been banned, extra precaution is being taken while getting live fowls from the authorised supplier and feeding the animals. The entire 45-acre zoo campus was sanitised by a team of zoo workers. The zoo’s executive director, C. Ravishankar, said disinfectants will be sprayed across the park on Thursday morning. He told The Hindu that the zoo was sanitised only after tourists left the premises. “Birds in the zoo and the nature park are safe and [are] under close observation. So far, no cases of birds falling sick or dying have been reported,” he added.

The entrances to both tourist destinations have been provided with foot dips containing disinfectant solution, and visitors were made to dip their feet in the solution before entering.

He said live fowls were allowed into the zoo campus only after the vet team examined them at the supplier point. They were slaughtered at the zoo and washed using potassium permanganate twice before being fed to the animals.

Mysuru zoo was closed for over a month last year after some migratory birds were found dead on the campus. Bird flu was suspected to have caused their deaths then.

Lab tests

Meanwhile, droppings at the Kukkarahalli lake here and serum samples of fowls from poultry farms in Mysuru are being sent to a laboratory in Bengaluru for analysis as a precautionary measure against avian flu. “Surveillance has been stepped up in the wake of bird flu in Bengaluru,” said Prasad Murthy, Deputy Director, Animal Husbandry, Mysuru.

The lake recently witnessed pelican deaths but the samples that were sent for lab analyses tested negative for bird flu.

“We routinely send samples of bird droppings collected randomly at the lake and also serum samples of fowls collected at random from poultry farms in and around Mysuru to the Institute of Animal Health and Veterinary Biologicals in Bengaluru for tests. The institute alerts us only in case samples test positive. So far, no such case has been reported from Mysuru,” Dr. Murthy told The Hindu .

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