ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The Abilene Zoo is taking precautionary measures for its bird population by limiting some birds from visitors’ view. The decision was made after a case of the avian flu was recently documented out of Dallas County.
The zoo said Tuesday that it is taking immediate steps to protect birds at its facility. In protection efforts, some birds will be removed from their outdoor habitats – to reduce the risk of exposure to wild birds around the zoo.
Birds at the Abilene Zoo were taken off exhibit in early April and were cleared to return later that month.
Avian influenza (HPAI) is a viral respiratory disease found in birds. Its severity can range from mild to potentially contagious and could be fatal to birds. The zoo said wild birds like ducks and geese are natural carriers of type A of the virus. The virus is generally spread through direct bird-to bird contact and the risk of a human catching the bird flu is small.
“As a precaution, for the health and well-being of our birds, we are relocating those that may potentially have direct contact with wild waterfowl to behind-the-scenes areas where they are more protected. Those include geese, whooping cranes, marabou storks, African crowned cranes, flamingos and other members of our bird collection.”
Another precautionary measure the zoo is taking is temporarily halting operations at its Bird Rehabilitation Center. This measure is taken in efforts to eliminate cross-contamination.
The Abilene Zoo’s Animal Care team will also increase its use of personal protective equipment.
At this time, there has been no positive results for the bird flu at the Abilene Zoo. Zoo personnel will continue to monitor its birds.
The zoo did not say when all birds will be back on display.