Delhi zoo samples positive for bird flu

Authorities had collected seven samples from four different locations in the zoo, which were sent to the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) on February 3, Pandey said.

Samples taken of bird droppings in the Delhi Zoo have been found positive for avian influenza virus, director of the zoo Ramesh Pandey said Tuesday.

Authorities had collected seven samples from four different locations in the zoo, which were sent to the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) on February 3, Pandey said.

“The samples have been found positive for avian influenza virus… All safety measures and protocols are strictly being adhered to and constant monitoring is being done by field staff and a team of veterinarians,” he added.

“Birds in captivity and free ranging birds are behaving normal as per reports, and all possible prophylactic measures and drills related to disinfection are being taken regularly,” Pandey said.

Earlier, six serological samples were sent to the NIHSAD on January 19, which were found negative. However, around January 16, samples taken from a dead brown fish owl in captivity at the zoo had tested positive.

Pandey said surveillance would continue at the zoo and further samples would be sent. The zoo has been closed to the public since the Covid-19 lockdown.

“We have been using the ebird mobile application to keep track of the birds in the premises of the zoo,” Pandey had said earlier . This is the first time the application is being used for bird monitoring and record keeping during the outbreak of avian influenza.

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