No migratory birds at BBP, so no bird flu threat

The bird flu outbreak that forced the closure of Mysuru zoo for one month poses no threat to Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP). This is because, migratory birds do not visit BBP, the park’s executive director Santosh Kumar told DH.

Also, the birds in the zoo are in enclosures and do not come in any contact with migratory birds. However, based on the directions from Zoo Authority of Karnataka, a close watch on the avian population is being kept and precautionary measures are being taken, he said.
Visitors are being asked to wet their feet in potassium permanganate solution placed at the zoo entrance and tyres of vehicles entering the zoo will also be sprayed with the solution. Zoo keepers have also been directed to keep themselves clean and keep a close watch on animals and birds.

Dr Manjunatha V, Scientist-1, Wild Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab, Institute of Animal Health and Veterinary Biologicals (IAHVB), added that there are 500 birds of 25 species in the zoo, including ostrich, peacock, pelicans, parakeets and silver pheasant. He added that wild migratory birds, like ducks, carry the H1N1 virus which spreads through water and fecal matter. Though water bodies of the national park and zoo’s safari area are connected, there is no contact of these water bodies with the birds in the zoo area. Hence, the chances of bird flu infecting avian population here is minimal.

Deputy Conservator of Forests, Ganesh Bhat, Mysuru forest division, said there is no bird flu threat at Ranganthittu and Kokrebellur conservation reserves. Though a large number of migratory birds visit the two places in Mandya, so far there have been no cases reported.
He said that a month ago, two birds died in Kokrebellur and their samples were sent to IAHVB for analysis. The reports were negative. Also last week, another death was reported and again the reports were negative. No deaths have been reported in Ranganthittu so far.

However, a close watch is being kept at both the places. A team of veterinarians also visited the conservation reserves on Wednesday and directed the staff to keep a close watch on the birds and collect samples every alternate day for analysis. This year, around 200 migratory birds visited Kokrebellur.

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