Due to the recent surge in highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), Zoo Boise, a division of Boise Parks and Recreation, is taking immediate steps to protect the birds that live at the zoo. These new safety measures include covering some outdoor bird exhibits and bringing some birds indoors to reduce their potential for exposure.
HPAI, also commonly referred to as bird flu, has impacted birds in the wild and in commercial industries throughout the country including here in Idaho.
“Many of the zoo’s birds will still be visible to the public from behind glass and birds that can safely be housed indoors will remain on exhibit,” said Zoo Boise Director Gene Peacock. “Unfortunately, some of our birds will most likely have to move off-exhibit to ensure their safety. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and make necessary changes to exhibits in the coming days.”
According to experts, the spread of HPAI is mostly blamed on the droppings and nasal discharge of infected wild birds. Zoo Boise is working with state, federal, and other accredited zoological organizations to ensure steps being taken locally prevent Zoo Boise’s birds from coming into contact with the virus. Zoo Boise will continue to add additional sanitizing procedures and exhibit coverings to limit possible exposure to infected particles. Staff members appreciate your patience and understanding as some birds are taken off exhibit for their own protection.
“Our zookeepers and staff provide exceptional care for all of the animals, and this situation is no exception,” said Boise Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway. “We will continue to consult with national, state and local health officials to make the best care decisions on behalf of all the birds who call Zoo Boise home.”
Zoo Boise has turned the act of visiting the zoo into a conservation action. Since 2007, visits to Zoo Boise have generated more than $3 million towards the conservation of animals in the wild, redefining why we have a zoo. Zoo Boise is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, a national organization that supports excellence in animal care, conservation, education, and science.