Zoo takes measures to ward off avian flu threat
PREVENTATIVE measures have been implemented at the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa (NZG) in Pretoria after the recent outbreak of avian influenza in areas neighbouring the city, spokesperson Craig Allenby said yesterday.
Allenby said no cases of the virus had been found at the NZG.
However, he said there was “cause for concern” and therefore the famous zoo has increased its own bio-security measures.
“We have moved endangered bird species, like the cranes that were in open enclosures, into covered aviaries to prevent their interaction with wild bird species. The risk of transfer of the virus is increased through contact with wild birds,” said Allenby.
The NZG is also in the process of introducing additional covers to prevent other species from having contact with wild birds where aviaries are not available.
“All vehicles entering the zoo are treated with an anti-viral disinfectant to prevent the virus from entering the zoo.
“Footbaths have also been introduced at the main entrance for the visitors to use on their arrival. The disinfectant is not harmful to humans,” he said.
Additional conservation management practices have also been implemented to prevent any cross-contamination or spread, should the virus enter the zoo. – ANA
The entrance to the National Zoological Gardens in Pretoria.