New Delhi zoo temporarily closed amidst bird flu scare

National Zoological Park Delhi shuts down temporarily on Oct 19th as nine birds die of what maybe H5N1 Avian influenza.

By Author  |  Published: 19th Oct 2016  10:50 amUpdated: 16th May 2017  5:00 pm
Delhi Zoo
Delhi Zoo shuts down amidst H5 Avian influenza virus Scare on Oct 19, 2016. (Photo: IANS)

New Delhi: New Delhi’s zoo has been closed temporarily after nine birds died from suspected bird flu last week, a zoo official said on Wednesday.

Autopsies conducted on the birds confirmed that at least two of them died from H5N1 avian influenza, said Riaz Ahmed Khan, the National Zoological Park’s curator.

Delhi Zoo
Minister Gopal Rai visits Delhi Zoo that has been shut down amidst H5 Avian influenza virus Scare on Oct 19, 2016. (Photo: IANS)

“We decided to close the zoo for a few days as a precautionary measure,” Khan said, adding that the zoo would reopen next week.

He said the birds, including some ducks and two pelicans, died Friday and Saturday.

The zoo, one of the largest in India, has about 1,400 animals, reptiles and birds belonging to around 130 species. It gets about 2.2 million visitors annually.

Delhi zoo
Pelicans at Delhi Zoo. (File photo )
AFP PHOTO / SAJJAD HUSSAIN

The H5N1 avian influenza virus poses no apparent threat to humans, but highly pathogenic strains can be deadly to domestic poultry and, rarely, wild birds.

In May, zoo workers were vaccinated against rabies after 46 spotted deer at the park died from the virus.