National Zoological Park (NZP), New Delhi houses both captive and free ranging birds, including local migratory waterfowls and waders in its premises. Therefore, NZP has been strictly following the protocols and guidelines issued by the Central Zoo Authority (CZA), Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Government of India and Animal Husbandry Department of Government of NCT of Delhi on Avian Influenza and taking precautionary measures related to safety, surveillance and sanitization accordingly. As a result a team consisting of Veterinary Officer of NZP and officials of Animal Husbandry Department of Government of NCT of Delhi did a serological surveillance on 11.01.21 and faecal droppings of free ranging birds and water samples of ponds in NZP were collected from different locations and sent for serological examination related to Avian Influenza.
Subsequently, National Zoological Park (NZP) witnessed a death of Brown Fish Owl in its captivity and therefor the cloacal, tracheal and ocular swabs of the deceased bird was sent to Animal Husbandry Department of Government of NCT of Delhi for serological examination, which has been found positive for H5N8 Avian Influenza virus under ‘real time RT-PCR’ test done by ICAR-National Institute of High Security Animal Disease (NIHSAD), Bhopal on 15.01.21.
As per the standard protocols and guidelines issued by the CZA, MoEFCC and AHD Govt of Delhi NCT, the sanitization and surveillance drills have been intensified in the National Zoological Park and all possible preventive and prophylactic measure are being taken meticulously. Birds in captivity have been isolated and are under consistent monitoring and care for their behavior and health.
Spray of Lime, Virkon-S & Sodium hypochlorite and foot bath of Potassium permanganate are being done on regular intervals every day. Chicken feed to raptors and entry of vehicles inside the Zoo had already been stopped, which is being further reinforced and intensified. Movement of staffs and workers in zoo is also being restricted and regulated keeping in view the Animal Influenza threats. National Zoological Park is already closed due to Covid-19 and is not open for public.