Bird flu spreads to Southern California, infecting chickens, wild birds and other animals
As of Thursday afternoon, 10 dead chickens discovered at a petting zoo owned by a local family had tested positive for bird flu.
According to reports, birds were found dead at Santa Monica’s Wildlife World — a petting zoo owned by a family in East Los Angeles. Officials confirmed that 10 dead chickens had tested positive for the bird flu virus – which can lead to respiratory problems in people.
Authorities believe that several bird flu infected wild birds have also been found at the zoo. The LA Department of Fish and Game is working closely with L.A. County, the City of Santa Monica and the state Department of Public Health to respond to the situation.
Officials at Wildlife World are still trying to determine what type of birds are infected – wild birds or captive birds. However, a spokesperson at the zoo said that the infected birds were found dead with the same symptoms – including weight loss and swollen lymph nodes – as chickens infected with bird flu.
The spokesperson says that there has not been a sick dog found within the last two weeks at the petting zoo. Officials say that the zoo is still open to the public, and that people who come upon the infected birds can go to the front desk and report the situation.
“We’re very sorry for the suffering that’s happened to these chickens,” Santa Monica Mayor Mike Bonin said during a press conference Sunday, as the zoo confirmed its worst case scenario. “This is probably one of the worst cases of bird flu we’ve seen in Los Angeles and it’s particularly dangerous for wild birds. It’s a great example of the need to close an area, to prevent the spread to people.”
The city and the state are working with the zoo and are working to prevent the transmission of the virus. Bird flu is a serious disease that can cause a range of symptoms including fever, weakness, coughing, and in extreme cases, death.
The LA Department of Fish and Game has been notified of the situation. Officials say that they are concerned about the infection of wild birds at the zoo, and that they will continue to work with the zoo and the animal and wildlife agencies to determine the cause of the infections.
“We’re hoping it was a wild bird in the area, but it could also be a captive