PONCE INLET, Florida. – The Ponce Inlet Marine Science Center has closed its bird exhibits after three waterfowl tested positive for avian influenza, or “bird flu.”
Chad Macfie, who works at the county-run center, said the birds were removed before they could interact with resident birds.
Now, signs are posted around the facility to inform patrons that the bird exhibits are closed. This comes a day after the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) announced that cases of bird flu had been detected in central Florida.
“It is under the recommendation of the FWC and the State of Florida that we stop admitting birds to the hospital and also close our bird exhibits to the public,” he said.
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The center was already on high alert after reports of bird flu in other Florida counties like Brevard.
In fact, Brevard Zoo also closed some of its bird exhibits after two vultures found on the property tested positive.
“We have walk-through areas for feeding lorikeets and feeding cockatiels. We have closed these areas to guests at this time, and we are also limiting the keeper’s interaction with the birds,” said Trevor Zachairah.
Macfie said no cases of bird flu in humans have been reported. Still, the center is taking extra precautions to protect customers and staff.
“The FWC recommends no touching or handling injured or sick birds at this time,” he said.
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