Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens has stopped procurement of live fowl and eggs from the retail market for time being. The decision has been taken following outbreak of bird flu at poultry farm in Melkera village of Humnabad.
Zoo procures an average 100 eggs and 50 kgs of live fowl everyday. It will be given as treat to animals along with beef and it is not part of its basic diet. It procures 310 kilos beef every day.
In it's place, procurement of beef, fish and prawns has been increased to feed the carnivorous birds and animals which is for a couple of days till things return to normalcy. Zoo Veterinarian Dr Ramesh says: 'With stoppage of feeding eggs and live fowl there is no difference in diet, as they were provided as treat for the birds.'
Zoo Executive Director S Venkatesan said: 'We have taken all the precautionary measures at Zoo. Stopping live bird feeding to the animals won't affect their diet in any big way.'
This apart, as a Prophylactic measure all birds have been given medication and fecal samples are being collected for screening. Foot dips are maintained at visitor’s entrance, vehicle entry gates and near all animal enclosures, he added.
Altogether, 155 species of birds and animals are currently housed in Mysore Zoo. Mammals – 51 species; birds 80 species; and reptiles – 24 species. The total number of animals housed in zoo is 1432, of which about 150 are carnivorous.
Screening intensified in district
Prasad Murthy, Deputy Director of Department of Animal Husbandry, informed that random screening of poultry birds is being done every month. With the news of outbreak, the screening will be intensified in the 50 poultries located in the neighbourhood of Mysuru, where blood samples of birds will be collected for testing. This apart, training will be conducted for poultry owners regarding maintenance of hygiene and disposal measures. There is no problem in Mysuru as of now.
Demand for fish to increase
Most of the non vegetarian hotels located in the vicinity tourist places did not have much chicken dishes on the menu on Monday.
Sarvesha, a cook at a Kerala non-veg hotel located near Zoo said because of the outbreak of birdflu we purchased only 25 kg chicken as against our daily purchase of 40 kg. We expect the demand for sea food to go up in couple of days.
Owner of another non veg hotel said that with outbreak of birdflu tourists afraid to order chicken and most of them ask for fish. We have kept a good quantity of fish in stock anticipating demand.