Wisconsin zoo, animal sanctuaries take precautions against bird flu

Published: Apr. 11, 2022 at 11:18 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin zoos and animal sanctuaries are taking precautions against the avian flu by limiting tours, closing aviaries and implementing other safety measures to protect birds against the highly contagious disease.

At the Heartland Farm Sanctuary in Verona, public and private tours are on hiatus. And, the sanctuary’s chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese and emus are quarantined in a barn for protection. Milwaukee County Zoo’s aviary is temporarily closed to protect its birds, which include flamingos, hornbills, vultures, penguins and ostriches.

Last month, Madison’s Henry Vilas Zoo announced its own precautions, including shutting down its aviary temporarily. The Behind the Scenes tours that included birds have been nixed for now. For the near future only animal care staff will be allowed to see them, and they must wear PPE when doing so. Flamingos, chickens, and penguins have all been brought indoors.

The avian flu was initially detected in Wisconsin on a Jefferson County poultry farm.

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