Delhi seems to have hit a bad road. After Dengue it is now Avian Flu popular as Bird Flu that has made life difficult for Delhites.
Two weeks ago the Delhi civic body issued a warning message asking people to curb the consumption of chicken meat for a few weeks. Now Delhi Zoo has been shut down to prevent the spread of bird flu.
Zoo officials have advised people to prevent a trip to the zoo for approximately the next forty-five days and the bird enclosure will only be allowed for public viewing when it becomes completely safe for the visitors.
Avian Flu Rampant In Delhi Zoo
A pelican died on 24th October taking the bird death toll to 70 this year. Although the authorities have taken all necessary precautions it looks as if the damage is already done.
Water ducks, painted storks, pelicans have died due to H5 Avian influenza and the zoo authorities did nothing. It was only after Delhi Health Board issued Avian Flu warning for the citizens that zoo authorities sprang into action.
The rosy pelican that died on 24th October is a rare bird whose numbers are already dwindling in the country.
The influx of migratory birds in India is already decreasing and such lapses aren’t helpful. We are killing our own biodiversity.
Who is Responsible?
It is lack of vigilance on the part of the authorities that has caused this severe problem in the city. Meat consumption has fallen which in turn is affecting the sellers and businessmen, add to that the ongoing Diwali season and it becomes clear that businesses are and will suffer losses.
Zoo will be closed during the festive season and lose out on its revenue. The bird enclosure which is a famous and popular site of attraction will take longer to open up.
But these are just financial losses one will suffer. What about the biodiversity? 70 exotic, rare and magnificent birds died before officials woke up from there deep slumber and not to forget a few of these birds were migratory birds.
Bird Flu is not a fatal disease but if left unchecked can lead to an outbreak. Unhygienic enclosures, poor quality meat lead to birds falling ill making it easier for them to all prey to the disease. The disease can easily be transmitted to monkeys, pigs and donkeys.
Prevention is the best cure
Studies have proved that eradicating Avian Flu from India is nearly impossible since the climate is very conducive for the virus. Bird Flu cases have been recorded in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and parts of North India.
While a few avian flu cases detected have been treated, here’s to hoping that Avian Flu doesn’t become a horror like Dengue. Zoo officials need to be vigilant because they are the protectors of species that need protection.