Bird flu scare: After Delhi zoo, Deer park also shuts down

Three dead birds were spotted in Sundar Nagar, near the zoo, and one in Tughlakabad in the extreme south
Bird Flu, Delhi zoo, Deer Park

Barely a week after Delhi’s zoological park was shut down, the national capital’s famous deer park have also been closed following an outbreak of avian influenza, commonly known as bird flu. Since last week, 20 migratory birds have been found dead in the national capital.

According to a report in NDTV, four more birds were found dead in Delhi Zoo and Deer Park on Thursday. Three dead birds were spotted in Sundar Nagar, near the zoo, and one in Tughlakabad in the extreme south.

The virus H5N1 can cause the death of humans too. Since it was first found in man in 1997, H5N1 has killed nearly 60% humans it had infected. The disease spreads by contact with ailing birds and or bird droppings.

An outbreak in 2006 had resulted in the culling of chickens and destruction of eggs in huge swathes of the country. Though people don’t catch the virus from eating fully cooked chicken or eggs.

“We are trying our level best to control the situation before it gets bad. For now, citizens need not worry and just be careful and alert,” said Delhi’s Animal Husbandry Minister, Gopal Rai.

The reports said officials from the Central Zoo Authority have sanitised all enclosures and collected samples.

The minister reportedly said that the response teams have collected 50 samples that have been sent to Jalandhar and the report is likely to be released by Saturday. The steps were taken after discussion between the officials of the environment, revenue, health and animal husbandry departments.

Since October 19, Delhi’s National Zoological Park has been shut down after suspected cases of Avia. Around 8 water birds and a few ducks and pelicans were reported to have been affected by bird flu last week.

“The zoo has been shut down until further notice. We have sent samples of a couple of dead ducks to Jalandhar and Mathura. We are awaiting the report,” a zoo official said.

The cases of the flu come a nearly month after India declared itself free from the highly contagious avian influenza (H5N1) or bird flu.

The official reportedly claimed that influenza will not affect humans and the shutting down of zoo premises was a precautionary measure.