March 25, 2022
Statement on Avian Influenza
On March 24, Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the United States Department of Agriculture’s Veterinary Services Laboratory confirmed the first case in Colorado of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), which can cause severe illness and death in many bird species. The virus is most common in waterfowl, including ducks, geese and swans, but can spread to other species through their mucous, saliva and feces. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this type of avian influenza virus usually does not infect people.
Due to the risk this poses to the birds under our care at the Zoo, we are immediately moving our birds into safe indoor areas, and making other changes to our programming and experiences to ensure the animals’ health and safety for at least 28 days. Species that will not be in their outdoor habitats and viewable to our guests during this period include African penguins, Humboldt penguins, lorikeets, cassowaries, cinerous vultures, bald eagles, Andean condors, sarus cranes, ground hornbills and others. Additionally, all Up-Close Looks and educational experiences and programs involving birds will be suspended, and our Animal Care staff will implement heightened safety protocols in indoor bird habitats until the risk to our animals subsides.
We will continue to closely monitor this situation, and share further communications and adjust our operations as needed to prioritize the health and safety of our animals and guests.
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