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Delhi Zoo shut down due to bird flu scare

After Delhi Zoo, Deer Park has also been shut down. 20 birds have died so far in Delhi due to bird flu

Policy Pulse
Publish Date: Oct 21 2016 2:49PM | Updated Date: Oct 21 2016 2:49PM

Delhi Zoo shut down due to bird flu scare

The Delhi Zoo and the city's famous deer park have been shut down following an outbreak of avian influenza, commonly known as bird flu.


Since last week, 20 migratory birds have been found dead in the national capital. Birds were found dead in Delhi Zoo and Deer Park. Also dead birds were also spotted in Sundar Nagar locality, near the zoo area and in Tughlakabad.


The virus H5N1 can cause death of humans too. Since it was first found in man in 1997, H5N1 has killed nearly 60% humans it had infected. The disease spreads by contact with ailing birds and or bird droppings.


Though people don't catch the virus from eating fully cooked chicken or eggs, an outbreak in 2006 had resulted in culling of chickens and destruction of eggs in huge swathes of the country.


This time, with a barrage of criticism directed at it over the handling of the dengue and chikungunya during the monsoons, the Delhi government has taken decisive steps.


"We are trying our level best to control the situation before it gets bad. For now, citizens need not worry and just be careful and alert," said Delhi's Animal Husbandry Minister Gopal Rai.


So far, officials from the Central Zoo Authority have sanitised all enclosures and collected samples. Response teams have collected 50 samples that have been sent to Jalandhar and the report is likely to be released by Saturday.