WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The Sedgwick County Zoo (SCZ) is closing its bird exhibits as a precaution against the Avian flu.
According to the SCZ, cases of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) have been more frequent as the fall migration season is upon us.
The SCZ says its officials have been closely following reports of cases of the zoonotic disease carried mainly by migratory waterfowl. This morning, they say they learned of a positive case of HPAI in Hutchinson.
“The close proximity of the disease has triggered the Sedgwick County Zoo to once again implement its HPAI action plan in order to protect the health of animals and humans, as well as its business operations,” the Zoo said. “The action plan was also implemented earlier this year during the spring migration season due to a case in Central Kansas.”
The bird exhibits at the SCZ will be closed until further notice to protect them.
Many of the birds have moved to indoor habitats, while others have received habitat modifications to percent contact with wild birds, according to the SCZ.
SCZ says its animal care staff will use personal protective equipment while caring for the birds at the Zoo.
Additionally, the SCZ has stopped the sale of sigh food available to guests in their effort to encourage wild waterfowl to forage elsewhere. Penguin Encounters are also on hold until the threat has passed.