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New Delhi zoo closed temporarily after birds die of bird flu

A sweeper cleans a road inside the closed premises of the National Zoological Park in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. The zoo has been closed temporarily after nine birds died from suspected bird flu last week, according to a zoo official. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)
October 19, 2016 - 3:47 AM

New Delhi's zoo has been closed temporarily after nine birds died from suspected bird flu last week, a zoo official said Wednesday.

Autopsies conducted on the birds confirmed that at least two of them died from H5N1 avian influenza, said Riaz Ahmed Khan, the National Zoological Park's curator.

"We decided to close the zoo for a few days as a precautionary measure," Khan said, adding that the zoo would reopen next week.

He said the birds, including some ducks and two pelicans, died Friday and Saturday.

The zoo, one of the largest in India, has some 1,400 animals, reptiles and birds belonging to around 130 species. It gets about 2.2 million visitors annually.

The H5N1 avian influenza virus poses no apparent threat to humans, but highly pathogenic strains can be deadly to domestic poultry and, rarely, wild birds.

In May, zoo workers were vaccinated against rabies after 46 spotted deer at the park died from the virus.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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