LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Avian Flu has been confirmed in several states, including New York, Indiana and Florida. More recently it's been confirmed in Kentucky, including areas west of Jefferson County.
In order to protect their birds, the Louisville Zoo has temporarily closed its public walk-through aviaries and is moving some birds to protected areas.
“As always, our highest priority is animal safety and welfare,” said Dan Maloney, Executive Director of the Zoo. “By temporarily closing public access to the aviaries, and moving some birds to indoor areas, we will help ensure the birds’ health for as long as the situation requires."
None of the Zoo's birds are currently showing signs of the disease, so these measures are just precautionary. No human infections from the virus have been found in the U.S., which means guests are not at risk and the Zoo is still safe to visit.
"Your Zoo continues to be one of the safest places to visit anywhere,” said Maloney.
Avian Flu is contagious in birds and can affect several species, including chickens and turkeys. It can also be seen in wild waterfowl and shorebird populations.
Currently, the infected species include backyard fowl, commercial poultry, pet chickens, and wild birds in captivity. This marks the first time the virus has been detected in the U.S. since 2016.
To prevent co-mingling with wild native waterfowl, the Zoo will relocate some Zoo birds to protected indoor areas, including the Chilean flamingos, white storks, and bald eagle.
The Louisville Zoo will update protocols and reopen areas as they continue to monitor Avian Flu findings in Kentucky and across the country.
Editor's Note: A previous version of this article said avian flu had been detected in Jefferson County. This version has been corrected.