The Bihar government has issued an alert after six peacocks died of bird flu at the Patna zoo, which was indefinitely closed on Wednesday.
The National Institute of High Security Animal Disease in Bhopal confirmed that the birds died due to avian influenza (H5N1), commonly known as bird flu.
The state government has shut down the Patna zoo for an indefinite period to ensure segregation of birds and to spray anti-viral disinfectants, officials said. The zoo attracts maximum visitors towards the end of the year and beginning of the new year.
Principal conservator of forests in Bihar D K Shukla said that he suspects that the peacocks could have contracted the infection from birds from outside. “We are taking adequate caution. All enclosures of birds would be properly cleaned,” Shukla said.
Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, who is also in-charge of the state Environment portfolio, said, “Those who had booked zoo tickets in advance can cancel their tickets and get the refund or extend their visit.”
Meanwhile, the Health department issued directives regarding preventive measures to be taken by people.