Avian flu concerns cause Hogle Zoo, Tracy Aviary to move birds inside

Apr 27, 2022, 3:34 PM | Updated: 4:00 pm
zoo avian flu...
Magellan penguins stand in their enclosure at the Blank Park Zoo, Tuesday, April 5, 2022, in Des Moines, Iowa. Zoos across North America are moving their birds indoors and away from people and wildlife as they try to protect them from the highly contagious and potentially deadly avian flu. Penguins may be the only birds visitors to many zoos can see right now, because they already are kept inside and usually protected behind glass in their exhibits, making it harder for the bird flu to reach them. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

SALT LAKE CITY — Expect changes at the Hogle Zoo because of avian flu. 

Two cases of the disease have been detected in Utah this month: one in Utah County and another this week in Cache County.

Experts said the virus spreads via waterfowl. The biggest concern is for poultry operations and backyard chickens. 

KSL-TV reported that the Hogle Zoo is moving several bird species indoors and draining ponds and other water features.

Tracy Aviary is also closing two themed exhibits and installing netting over other exhibits to prevent any wild birds from getting in and infecting sensitive species. 

The aviary moved several birds to indoor spaces. 

Also, the aviary is hoping to protect those indoor spaces and is telling people who’ve been around any poultry or backyard chickens to avoid the indoor exhibits. 

But all guests should prepare for the possibility of having their shoes disinfected.  This is because the virus is transferred by fecal matter, so this could help limit the birds’ exposure to outside materials. 

Tracy Aviary also said that they are taking steps to deter wild waterfowl from visiting, which includes removing public duck feeders and telling guests not to feed any birds on-site. 

“At this time, it is uncertain how long these precautions will need to be in place,” said Tim Brown, president and CEO of Tracy Aviary, in a press release. 

Brown also said the aviary will return to normal operations when the virus is no longer a threat.

Related: Avian flu in Utah causes worry in pet owners

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Avian flu concerns cause Hogle Zoo, Tracy Aviary to move birds inside