To protect our bird family, our bird experiences are closed for the time being after we received news that several cases of avian influenza (HPAI) were found in Brevard County. We do not currently have any cases of avian influenza at the Zoo.
Avian influenza – commonly called “bird flu” – is a viral infection that occurs naturally in birds. Wild birds can carry the virus but may not always get sick from it. Some domesticated birds such as chickens, ducks and turkeys, can become infected, often fatally.
“Given the seriousness of this disease and the close proximity to the animals in our care, we have implemented our avian influenza plan,” said Keith Winsten, our Zoo’s executive director.
In an effort to keep our birds safe, the Zoo’s free-flight walk-through aviaries will be closed to the public until further notice. Zoo birds susceptible to HPAI such as our macaws, black swans, Osceola turkeys and whistling ducks, will be moved to indoor habitats.
Other species, like our nesting wrinkled hornbills, will receive habitat modifications to keep them from having contact with wild birds.
Our animal care team will of course continue providing excellent care for all our feathered friends, but our staff will use extra personal protective equipment while doing so.
Although it is possible for people to become infected with avian influenza, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that the virus does not spread easily from animals to humans.
Please check back for new updates on when our bird experiences will reopen. We appreciate your understanding as we strive to keep our bird family safe while also providing you with a fun day at our Zoo.