Brevard Zoo closes bird experiences to the public due to Avian flu risk

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — After several cases of bird flu were reported in Brevard County, the Brevard Zoo announced it is closing its bird experiences to the public as a precaution.

Zoo officials said the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has reported positive cases of the illness in wild birds in parts of South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky and Florida.

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This week, the zoo said state wildlife officials reported that several ducks in Brevard County have tested positive for bird flu.

“Given the seriousness of this disease and the close proximity to the animals in our care, we have implemented our avian influenza plan,” said Executive Director Keith Winsten.

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To protect the zoo’s bird residents, its free-flight walk-through aviaries will be closed to the public until further notice. Officials said zoo birds susceptible to bird flu will be moved to indoor habitats, while other species will receive habitat modifications to prevent contact with wild birds.

Officials said all zoo animal care staff will use personal protective equipment while caring for the birds.

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Although it is possible for people to become infected with bird flu, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the virus does not spread easily from animals to humans.

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.