Patna zoo closed after tests confirm bird flu

The zoo here was closed on Tuesday “until further orders” after strains of avian influenza virus were found in six dead peacocks, forest officials said. Joggers and Christmas revellers were in for disappointment as they found the gates of the ‘Sanjay Gandhi Jaivik Udyan’ shut with notices affixed on the walls. According to D.K. Shukla, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Bihar, samples of the dead peacocks were sent to Kolkata and Bhopal for tests which confirmed the presence of H5N1 virus. “We are not sure how the peacocks contracted the virus. Birds from outside tend to fly inside the campus. That could be a possible reason but that is a matter of investigation,” he said, adding that, only after it is certified that it is safe for people, would the zoo be opened again.

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