Taking measures to check the avian influenza striking birds and other live stock, the Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park, Chattbir, has been put on a high alert by the state government.
The zoo has a large collection of peacocks, ducks, kites, nocturnal wild owls, geese, Cranes, emu, parrots, and
A four member team of skilled workers trained by Wildlife Hospital have been assigned the job to keep a watch on the enclosures. The team will keep a check on the enclosures of the birds and wild animals, especially the ones staying in the water, thrice in the day.
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“We have told the workers to inform the senior officials if they come across any abnormality in case of birds put up in the enclosures. Proper equipment comprising face masks, gum boots, poly bags needs to used in case of any suspicion. If anything is found then the samples will be sent for further testing to RDDL Jalandhar lab in a sealed polythene”, said Harpal Singh, Zoo Education Officer at the zoo.
To prevent the entry of migratory birds, covers, Mesh, Argro net barricades have been put on the enclosures of the birds and reptiles.
There are number of water bodies in the zoo where migratory birds flock in during the winter and often end up in various enclosures of animals, reptiles having water to move around.
“We are using various kinds disinfectants like lime powder, bleaching powder, which have been kept outside the enclosures to keep the surroundings free from bacterial infections. Birds also come due to the presence of fish in various enclosures. We are taking no chances and have kept the zoo on high alert”, added Harpal.
On a daily basis, fecal samples of the birds are being tested.
Moreover, the solid waste protocol of burning and burring underground is being practiced on a regular basis.
“The migratory infected birds usually have the influenza virus in their respiratory tract and intestines, but usually they don’t get sick themselves. Birds shed avian influenza virus in their saliva, mucous and feces which is very harmful for the local poultry and birds.”