New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: In an alarming development, the first case of bird flu has been detected in Delhi zoo after a dead owl tested positive for the Avian Influenza, Delhi Zoo officials said on Saturday.

"The zoo witnessed the death of a brown fish owl in its captivity. Its cloacal, tracheal and ocular swabs were sent to the animal husbandry unit of the Delhi government for serological examination," zoo Director Ramesh Pandey said.

The sample of the brown fish owl tested positive for the H5N8 Avian Influenza after the real-time RT-PCR test was conducted on it by the ICAR-National Institute of High-Security Animal Disease (NIHSAD), Bhopal, on Friday.

As per protocols and guidelines issued by the Centre and the Delhi government, sanitisation and surveillance drills have been intensified in the zoo and all possible preventive measures are being taken.

"Birds in captivity have been isolated and are under consistent monitoring and care for their behaviour and health. A spray of lime, virkon-S and sodium hypochlorite and foot bath of potassium permanganate are being done on regular intervals every day," Ramesh Pandey said.

Chicken feed to raptors and entry of vehicles inside the zoo has already been stopped. Movement of staff is also being restricted and regulated in view of the bird flu outbreak. The Delhi zoo has both captive and free-ranging birds, including local migratory waterfowls and waders, in its premises.

The first cases of Bird Flu were detected in Delhi on Monday when samples taken from crows and ducks at some of the parks and lakes had tested positive for avian influenza.

Last week, officials in Uttar Pradesh sealed the Kanpur zoo after officials reported a confirmed case of the bird flu. The Lucknow zoo was also sealed as a precautionary measure. Similarly, the Jaipur zoo was also closed after the state administration confirmed the deaths of as many as 2,600 crows, 190 peacocks, 195 pigeons and 400 other birds across Rajasthan.

Bird flu has been confirmed in 10 states, including Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, prompting culling of birds, and the centre summoning state officials to examine the availability of animal vaccines in the country.


(With Agency Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan