'Mysuru zoo can't be reopened before Feb 2'

'Mysuru zoo can't be reopened before Feb 2'

 The Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, popularly known as Mysuru zoo, cannot be reopened before February 2 as bird samples have to undergo two mandatory tests and give negative results, Zoo Authority of Karnataka chairperson Mallige Veeresh said here on Saturday. 

She was addressing a media conference, a day after attending a meeting with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in Bengaluru, where officials of Forest and Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services departments and scientists were also in attendance. Mallige said the chief minister had instructed the officials concerned to ensure the zoo was reopened at the earliest.

The zoo has been closed from January 4 to February 2 — the longest in its 124-year-old history — after six birds died of Avian Influenza (H5N8).

Four Greylag geese and two Spot-billed pelicans died on December 28 and 30, 2016. Their samples were sent to the Institute of Animal Health and Veterinary Biologicals (IAH&VB), Bengaluru, which forwarded them to the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases, Bhopal. The tests confirmed that the birds died of H5N8. The zoo’s executive director, K Kamala, had said the closure was inevitable.

Another bird died earlier this week, but one of its samples tested negative for Avian Influenza. Another sample should also test negative, said S M Byregowda, director, IAH&VB.

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