Bird flu scare: BBP stops feeding chicken to zoo carnivores

Bird flu scare: BBP stops feeding chicken to zoo carnivores

Bird flu scare: BBP stops feeding chicken to zoo carnivores

In wake of bird flu scare in Karnataka, the Bannerghatta Biological park (BBP) has stopped feeding poultry to the zoo carnivores. A circular has also been issued by the Zoo Authority of Karnataka (ZAK) to all zoos in Karnataka to stop feeding chicken to animals.

Mysuru’s Chamarajendra Zoological Garden also stopped chicken since Monday. Normally the BBP staff would get 15 - 20 kg of chicken, apart from 1,100 kg of beef, to feed the carnivores. But chicken has been stopped since Monday.
ZAK chairperson Rehana Banu told Deccan Herald that a circular has been issued to the 9 zoos under the ZAK jurisdiction to stop feeding chicken and egg to animals till the Avian flu scare diluted.

Though there is no fear in the BBP and the Mysuru zoo, its only a precautionary measure, she said. Samples of poultry which are fed to the animals have been sent to the laboratories for testing.

Directions have also been issued to keep potassium permanganate solution at the entrances of animal enclosures so that chances of spread of the disease in the zoo is curtailed. The solution trays will also be kept near the bird enclosures to help the zoo keepers to walk through.

Bio-security measures

BBP veterinarian Manjunath Reddy said normally beef is fed to all large carnivores. Chicken is fed to leopards, tiger cubs, jungle cats, common palm civets and the sick carnivores. But this has also been stopped in the wake of bird flu scare as a precautionary measure.

Bio-security measures are also being taken, including keeping potassium permanganate solution on the footpaths near the bird enclosures.

The cubs and the ailing animals will be fed with beef and milk, so that it becomes soft and easy to digest. This is being done temporarily, Reddy said.

Earlier, people could walk through the bird enclosures at the BBP, just like in the Mysuru zoo, for a realistic experience. But since last few years this had been stopped. Only in special cases, like the families of influentials and the VIPs are permitted to walk through. Now orders have been issued to it.

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