WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Sedgwick County Zoo officials have closed the bird exhibit due to cases of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) being confirmed in the state of Kansas.

HPAI is a disease in animals that is carried by birds, mainly migratory waterfowl like ducks and geese. This particular strain is not believed to pose a high risk to human health, but many zoo animals, including all birds, some mammals and possibly some reptiles, are susceptible to the disease.

Due to the close proximity of the disease, the Sedgwick County Zoo “implemented its HPAI action plan in order to protect the health of animals and humans,” they said in a news release.

To protect its bird residents, the Sedgwick County Zoo’s bird exhibits will be closed to the public until further notice. Many birds have been moved to indoor habitats, while others have received habitat modifications to prevent contact with wild birds. Animal care staff will use personal protective equipment while caring for the birds.

“Because our exhibit is open-topped, wild birds can fly in there, especially water foul which carry avian influenza. So, to keep them from mingling from those birds we have taken them to their off-exhibit holding building where they are more protected,” said Anne Heitman, the curator of birds at Sedgwick County Zoo.

Avian influenza — commonly called “bird flu” — is a viral infection that occurs naturally in birds. Wild birds can carry the virus but may not always get sick from it. Some domesticated birds such as chickens, ducks, and turkeys can become infected, often fatally.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that Avian flu does not spread easily from animals to humans.