San Antonio Zoo tracking avian flu, prepared to move birds indoors

Bird flu has been detected in more than 22 million poultry

Photo Courtesy: San Antonio Zoo (SABJ)

SAN ANTONIO – With concern over increasing cases of avian flu across the country, the San Antonio Zoo is taking precautions.

The bird flu has been detected in more than 22 million poultry and hundreds of wild birds in the biggest outbreak for several years.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the cases don’t present an immediate public health concern, but it is an animal health issue.

Earlier this month, the first cases of avian flu in Texas were found in Erath County at a business that produces pheasants for hunting.

Some zoos across North America are already moving their birds indoors and away from people and wildlife to protect them from the deadly illness.

Officials with the San Antonio Zoo said they are monitoring the situation and are prepared to do the same if they need to.

The zoo released the following statement:

“The welfare and well-being of our animals are of the utmost importance. San Antonio Zoo is following recommendations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) on biosecurity procedures to help prevent the potential spread of this deadly virus from wild birds to the birds in the zoo’s care. We are in constant communication with the Veterinarian for the State of Texas and other Texas zoological facilities as we implement a proximity plan. We continue to track avian influenza cases in relation to the location of San Antonio Zoo and are prepared to move birds in our care indoors and to protected habitats.”

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Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 20 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.