SUAMICO, Wis. (WFRV) — There is now a second confirmed case of bird flu in Wisconsin, this time in Rock County. Because the virus spreads so easily, local zoos are working to keep their birds safe.
“We definitely stepped things up in the last month or so,” said Carmen Murach. She’s the curator of animals for NEW Zoo in Suamico.
Murach said the zoo is doing it in a variety of different ways across the park.
“Keeping some of the birds who come inside for the winter, inside this time of year typically some of the birds would be coming out on nice days, and maybe going back in on not-so-nice days, but they’re all just staying in,” she said.
The zoo is also following strict protocols when it comes to care and feeding.
“(We) eliminated some of the unnecessary traffic through bird areas. You know, instead of having two keepers stop by throughout the day, now only one person does,” added Murach.
Other areas of the zoo, like viewing platforms, are temporarily closed for at least the next month or so.
If you are worried about catching bird flu, it’s very rare. Most of those cases have been tied to Asia, according to Dr. Jeff Pothof with UW Health.
The bigger threat, Murach says, is actually from humans giving it to the birds.
“If you happen to walk across a piece of ground that a goose has walked across, and there are lots of them walking around, you could pick up a virus particle and carry it with you,” Murach said.
The zoo has also added netting around some exhibits to keep other, outside birds away. Just a few of the steps to stop the slow of the spread.
“We’re hoping by the middle of next month it has run it’s course. It’s driven largely by migration,” said Murach.
While the aviary exhibit remains closed, the rest of the zoo is open. It’s open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
You can read more about what the zoo is doing here.