PEORIA (March 15, 2022) – Cases of Avian Flu, or better known as Bird Flu, are on the rise nationally and locally. A case confirmed over the weekend in McLean County has triggered a continuation of enhanced protocols at Peoria Zoo.
"At this time, we're looking at increased protocols to help keep our animals safe," said Yvonne Strode, Peoria Zoo Director. “As the name implies, birds, particularly waterfowl and poultry, are most effected but because viruses mutate we are taking precautions in all animal areas” continued Strode.
While there have been no cases within Peoria County, or at the Zoo, staff examines a 100-mile radius to determine if enhanced measures are appropriate.
Currently, Peoria Zoo is limiting behind-the-scenes areas to essential personal only, and implementing increased cleaning protocols like employee foot baths. Additionally, all programming including outreach animals is postponed, and guests will notice a few animals remain off exhibit. Due to the nature of transmission, no change is required to the guest mask recommendation that has been in place.
"The enhanced protocols staff have in place now, are similar to those that have been in place the last few years," said Peoria Park District Executive Director, Emily Cahill. "For the most part, guests won't see a change when they visit; so its still a perfect time of year to come visit the animals" she continued.
The Zoo will continue to monitor the situation and follow recommendations from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums as well as US Department of Agriculture.