Bird flu: BNHS team in Chilika for inspection

Khurda: A team of experts from Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) has visited the Nalabana area of Chilika lake after a migratory bird was tested positive for bird flu. The team will examine the winged guests and collect excreta and swab sample of birds for test.
Apart from the expert team, officials of wild life and animal husbandry department from Cuttack are also scheduled to visit the largest brackish water lagoon to review the situation.
Swab sample of at least eight Pintail birds were sent to High Security Animal Disease (HSAD) Laboratory in Bhopal for examination out of which one bird was tested positive for avian influenza. The district administration sounded high alert in the surrounding areas besides taking precautionary measures to prevent the spread of virus.
 The animal husbandry department issued alert to the neighboring districts including Puri, Khurda and Ganjam asking them to keep strict eye on the poultry farms. The people of these districts have been requested not to touch any bird found dead and to inform the wild life officials immediately.
Wildlife officials, however, said there was nothing to panic as around 50 per cent migratory birds have already left Chilika. Moreover, there was no report of the death of any bird in the lake due to any other disease, they said.
As many as 8 lakh five thousand feathered guests were counted in the birds’ abode while over five lakh birds are still living in the lake.