Flamingo in Sac Zoo closed with 3 cases

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has confirmed three positive cases of bird flu in wild birds in Northern California. Three cases are in Glenn and Colusa counties. Despite being 90 miles from Sacramento, the bird team at the Sacramento Zoo jumped into action to relocate flamingos and other birds to safety. “The first thing I look for is a flamingo,” said Jessica Bailey of Redding. Bailey brought her seven-year-old daughter Adriana to the zoo on Saturday. They said they love flamingos. “I immediately look for their bright pink color. I didn’t see them, so I felt like we weren’t going to see them,” Bailey said. Instead, visitors see an empty lake. Confirmed cases of bird flu in Northern California are prompting precautionary measures at the Sacramento Zoo. “We’re constantly monitoring avian flu outbreaks across the country and unfortunately this one has come a little bit closer,” said Animal Control Officer Brandon Fuentes. Crews drained the upper lake, home to bright and colorful flamingos. According to Fuentes, some other visitors are always present. “This lake exhibit is completely unenclosed and open to the elements, so we get a lot of ducks that come to the Sacramento Zoo and make their home here,” Fuentes said. They are concerned that wild ducks may also carry the disease. “Fortunately, we have two large quarantine pools in the back that are perfect for a lot of birds walking around at the same time,” Fuentes said. Bird team members moved 50 flamingos, 20 whistling ducks and a mallard one by one to their new temporary home in the zoo’s main area. Workers wear full personal protective equipment to protect the birds. “It’s like a full quarantine area. We’re fully fit to go in and out,” Fuentes said. He said they also wear masks, change their boots after leaving the bird area, and change their clothes twice a day. Now the flamingos with three chicks have to live in a fully enclosed cage with kiddie pools instead of a lagoon. Workers even created a breeding area. “It could be massive, a bird flu outbreak in California, and it could be catastrophic for the waterfowl population,” Fuentes said. They also covered the parrot exhibit with a net canopy to protect them. For now, Adriana Bailey and her mother will have to wait for this herd to shut down. “We love all birds. Flamingos, you don’t see them every day,” Bailey said. So far, Fuentes said the birds are all healthy. He said he doesn’t know how long the flamingos will have to stay in their temporary home. According to him, we may have to wait until the end of the migration season in the fall.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has confirmed three positive cases of bird flu in wild birds in Northern California. Three cases are in Glenn and Colusa counties.

Despite being 90 miles from Sacramento, the bird team at the Sacramento Zoo jumped into action to relocate flamingos and other birds to safety.

“The first thing I look for is a flamingo,” said Jessica Bailey of Redding.

Bailey brought her seven-year-old daughter Adriana to the zoo on Saturday. They say flamingos are their favorite.

“I immediately look for their bright pink color. I didn’t see them, so I felt like we weren’t going to see them,” Bailey said.

Instead, visitors see an empty lake. Confirmed cases of bird flu in Northern California are prompting precautionary measures at the Sacramento Zoo.

“We’re constantly monitoring avian flu outbreaks across the country and unfortunately this one has gotten a little close,” Animal Supervisor Brandon Fuentes said.

Crews drained the upper lake, often home to bright and colorful flamingos. According to Fuentes, other guests are always coming in.

“This lake exhibit is completely unenclosed and open to the elements, so we get a lot of ducks that come to the Sacramento Zoo and make their homes,” Fuentes said.

They fear that wild ducks can also carry the disease.

“Fortunately for us, we have two large quarantine pools in the back that are perfect for hanging out a lot of birds at once,” Fuentes said.

Over the past week, members of the bird team have moved 50 flamingos, 20 whistling ducks and mallards one by one from the zoo’s main area to their new temporary home.

Workers wear full personal protective equipment to protect the birds.

“We treat it as a full quarantine area. We’re completely fine with going in and out,” Fuentes said.

He said they also wear masks, change their boots after leaving the bird territory and change their clothes twice a day.

Now the flamingos with three chicks have to live in a fully enclosed cage with kiddie pools instead of a lagoon. The workers even created a breeding ground.

“It could be massive, the consequences of a bird flu outbreak in California could be catastrophic for waterfowl populations,” Fuentes said.

They also covered the parrot exhibit with a net canopy.

For now, Adriana Bailey and her mother will have to wait for this herd to shut down.

“We love all birds. Flamingos, you don’t see them every day,” Bailey said.

So far, Fuentes said all the birds are healthy. He said he doesn’t know how long the flamingos will have to stay in their temporary home. According to him, we may have to wait until the end of the migration season in the fall.

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