A bacterial infection that has killed one-third of the lorikeets at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium may now be contained. According to WTRF.com, the first birds died in April, and a total of 14 birds have succumbed to the infection. Fortunately, no deaths have occurred in several days, leading zoo officials to be hopeful that the outbreak has ended, though the exact cause of the infection has remained a mystery.
There have been no reports of humans contracting any illnesses from the zoo's birds, and the aviary exhibit was closed during the outbreak. It has now been reopened, and visitors can once again feed the colorful birds.
Backyard birders who find dead birds should exercise caution. Always dispose of dead birds properly, and take steps to discourage diseases at bird feeders. Many birds are susceptible to bacteria and viruses, and diseases can often spread through a flock quickly. Learning how to recognize sick birds can help birders better protect themselves and their feathered friends from their own epidemic outbreak.
Feeding a Lorikeet
Photo © Sean Murray