Zoo takes steps to protect birds from avian flu

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Birds temporarily moved off-view as safety measure against virus


The Oregon Zoo is temporarily moving most of its feathered residents off-view this week to protect them from a highly contagious avian influenza that has spread across the country this year and was recently reported in Multnomah and Clackamas counties. The virus, also known as bird flu, is typically spread by wild birds during seasonal migrations. To date, no cases have been detected at the zoo.

“We’ve brought most of our birds indoors as a precaution, to prevent any possible contact with migrating waterfowl,” said Dr. Carlos Sanchez, the zoo’s head veterinarian. “They’ll return to their outdoor areas as soon as it’s safe.” 

Because the disease can spread via bird droppings tracked on people’s shoes, many of the zoo’s indoor aviaries are also closed, Dr. Sanchez said, and human contact with birds is limited to a small number of care staff.

Although the avian flu can be deadly for birds, it poses little risk to humans, experts say. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises people to avoid direct contact with birds and their waste.

Media contact: 

Hova Najarian | 503-220-5714 | hova.najarian@oregonzoo.org

Kelsey Wallace | 503-220-5754 | kelsey.wallace@oregonzoo.org