NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A wave of Avian Flu has swept across the country, since February 8th.
In many cases, it spells disaster for poultry farmers at risk of losing all their animals. The bird flu also caught the attention of zoo’s.
Nashville Zoo is keeping close tabs on what is being described as one of the worse Avian Flu outbreaks since 2015.
“We’re keeping an eye on it,” said Market and Public Relations Director Jim Bartoo. “We do keep in contact with zoos around the country, actually around North America, to kind of track and see where this disease is spreading to.”
The disease has been detected in 24 states so far. That includes neighboring North Carolina, Virginia, and Kentucky.
Around 23 million birds have been destroyed as a result. While it has not been detected in Tennessee, Nashville Zoo is taking precautions.
“We’ve moved some ducks out of the Lorikeet Landing area just as a precautionary measure, and that’s really it right now.” Bartoo added, “We’re really just monitoring the way things are spreading across the country.”
Avian Flu is spread by wild migratory birds that are largely unaffected. It is devastating to domestic turkey and chicken farmers.
If the flu should land at the Nashville Zoo, then they’re ready with no threat to visitors whatsoever and only minor changes.
Bartoo explained, “If it were to come into the area, we would probably restrict a lot of our exhibits that deal with those types of animals.”
Developing a vaccination is not viable for several reason, but mainly because it would severely restrict U.S. poultry exports.