Bird Flu: Delhi Zoo heightens enclosures' care, curtails chicken feed for raptors

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A zoo workers disinfecting the premises. (Photo/ANI)
A zoo workers disinfecting the premises. (Photo/ANI)

By Joymala Bagchi

New Delhi [India], January 9 (ANI): With avian influenza, a viral infection causing deaths of thousands of birds across the country raising concerns, the Delhi Zoo has heightened intensive care of bird enclosures and water ponds areas with the application of disinfectants twice a day.

Disinfectants like Virkon, Sodium Hypochlorite and Lime Powder are being used to keep the zoo atmosphere safe, especially for the raptors.

Raptors and other carnivorous animals are also not being fed chicken anymore to reduce risk of infection.

"Apart from normal sanitary work, birds enclosures and pond areas are being disinfected twice a day and intensive care is being taken. Officials are monitoring the situation day and night," Ramesh Pandey, director of the Delhi Zoo told ANI.

The Delhi zoo does not receive migratory birds from across the Himalayas, which the zoo authority considers a "relief".

"Fortunately we have local migratory birds. Their behavior is also being watched. Lots of birds like Black kites and House crow that fly over the Zoo are also being observed," the director informed.

The Delhi Zoo is also known as the National Zoological Park is administered by the Central Zoo Authority (CZA), a statutory body formed under the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972.

Earlier in the day, ten ducks and several crows have been found dead in Sanjay Lake in West Delhi's Trilokpuri here, and samples have been sent to Bhopal's National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) to ascertain the cause.

The Centre on Friday requested states and Union Territories to increase awareness regarding the safety of poultry and poultry products. It also issued appropriate advisories to restore consumer confidence affected by rumours.

Bird flu has been reported from at least six states including Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Gujarat. (ANI)