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India: Delhi zoo shuts down over bird flu scare

The closure comes a month after India announced the country was bird flu-free, saying there had been no reports of an outbreak since May when more than 100,000 chickens were ordered culled in Karnataka state. Photograph: (AFP)

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Oct 19, 2016, 11.14 AM (IST)

The zoo in the Indian capital city of New Delhi has been temporarily shut down over a bird flu scare.

The Delhi zoo’s curator said two birds died of bird flu, adding that tests had confirmed the birds died of the H5 strain of avian influenza.

"We have shut the zoo down only for two to four days to conduct tests and monitor the situation to see it does not spread," Khan told news agency AFP. 

He said a total of nine birds, including ducks, pelicans, and painted storks, have died in recent days but only two were confirmed as having had avian flu.

"But in any case, the zoo has been closed as a precautionary measure and will reopen in a few days," AFP quoted him as saying. 

Khan said the zoo was only shut as a precautionary measure and would reopen in a few days.

The closure comes a month after India announced the country was bird flu-free, saying there had been no reports of an outbreak since May when more than 100,000 chickens were ordered to be culled in southern Karnataka state. 

This is the second time Delhi zoo has been shut over a health care in 2016. The zoo was in the spotlight in May after 46 spotted deer reportedly died of rabies.

(WION with inputs from AFP)

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