Mysuru: There is a scare of outbreak of avian influenza (bird flu) at Kukkarahalli Lake as anxious Veterinarians from the Institute of Animal Health and Veterinary Biologicals (IAH&VB) on Dhanvantri Road visited the lake this morning and checked Pelicans, some of which were weak.
Veterinary doctors Dr. H.C. Srinivas and Dr. S. Sumanth said they were informed about the condition of the Pelicans and they found that some of them were weak. “The lake is polluted and hence there will be the usual bacterial contamination. We are examining a Pelican that has been captured and observed that it is very weak,” said Dr Srinivas speaking to SOM.
Asked if there were any bird deaths in the lake, Dr. Sumanth said that no one had informed them about any deaths in the lake so far. Only now when they came to know that a few birds were struggling, they were captured and treated. Later, the birds were released back into the Kukkarahalli Lake.
The Veterinarians said that their first priority was to rescue and save the birds. “Only if the bird dies can we conduct a post mortem and send the samples to our main lab in Bengaluru. Now our aim is to save the bird and hence we have given an injection,” they said.
Meanwhile, a Pelican that was found lying weak was rescued by a few watchers and students, who informed N. Santosh, former Wild Life Rehabilitation volunteer, yesterday. Santosh took the bird home and started treatment.
Speaking to Star of Mysore, here this morning, Santosh said, “The Pelican was in very weak condition. I put the bird on treatment by feeding it with RL oral fluid every four hours. It is slowly recovering. I am handing it over to People for Animals (PFA) for further rehabilitation today.”
Santosh said that he was surprised to hear one of the Veterinary doctors who had treated the Pelican today in Kukkarhalli Lake telling him that the bird would be released into the water again. “I wonder how they could do it if the lake is contaminated,” he said.
It may be recalled that the carcass of a Cattle Egret, which was buried near Kukkarahalli Lake by workers after it was found dead on the bund of the lake in January this year was exhumed and sent to IAH and VB.
Animal Husbandry Deputy Director Prasad Murthy had said that the bird was unknowingly buried by workers employed at the lake though it was important (in the wake of bird flu deaths in Mysuru Zoo) to report the matter to the Veterinary Department.
Zoo authorities on guard to tackle any emergencies: Mysuru Zoo Executive Director C. Ravishankar, speaking to Star of Mysore this morning, said that he has received information about bird deaths at Kukkarahalli Lake in a span of one week and added that the Zoo was ready to tackle any emergencies.
He said that following the closure of the Zoo for a month from Jan. 4 to Feb. 2, 2016, due to outbreak of Avian Influenza (H5N8), the Zoo is taking all precautionary measures since then by vaccinating birds and spraying disinfectants regularly.
“We are very alert and are communicating regularly with the veterinarians. As the samples of birds at Kukkarahalli Lake have been sent to the lab in Bengaluru by the lake authorities, we would seek the report once it reaches them and intensify the precautionary measures if necessary. But as of now, no bird deaths have occurred in the Zoo,” the Zoo Director said.
Birds in Kokkarebellur Bird Sanctuary ill: In the famous Kokkarebellur Bird Sanctuary in Maddur taluk in Mandya district, a few pelican birds have taken ill, that has caused anxiety among the people. Around seven to eight birds had died in December 2016 due to bacterial infection, which is due to polluted water here.