Updated Nov. 18, 2022
Recently, avian influenza was discovered in the wild bird population of Kentucky. Even though none of the Zoo’s collection of birds are showing signs of the disease, the Louisville Zoo is taking precautionary measures to protect our birds from this viral disease.
As a result, the Louisville Zoo is closing several exhibit areas, moving some animals off exhibit and relocating some species. The current off-exhibit or closed areas are listed on this page and will be updated periodically.
The avian flu, also known as Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) is highly contagious in birds and can affect several bird species, including domestic poultry. Wild birds (waterfowl) are generally asymptomatic carriers and can pass it on to domestic poultry where the virus is often deadly.
According to the CDC, Avian flu does not currently present a health concern to the general public.
Zoo staff are ramping up processes to protect against contamination including increased sanitation, disinfecting and limiting access of personnel and equipment in bird areas.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says transmission of the virus from birds to humans is very rare and considers the risk to the general public very low. You can find more information on the CDC’s website: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/avianflu.
Learn more about what the Zoo is doing to protect our birds here.
Areas Temporarily Closed to the Public
- Forest Bird Trail and African Penguin Exhibit (Islands)
- Lorikeet Landing (Australia)
Lorikeets will be viewable from outside the exhibit, weather permitting.
- Steller Sea Eagle Aviary (Glacier Run)
Birds will be viewable from outside the exhibit, weather permitting.
Animals Temporarily Off exhibit
- Bald Eagle (Cats of America)
- Chilean Flamingos (South America)
- Dalmatian Pelicans (South America)
- Southern Screamer (South America)
- White Storks (Africa)
- Ruppell’s vultures (Africa)
- East African crowned cranes (Africa)
- Black Swans have been relocated to Little Penguin Exhibit in Islands
Can humans catch avian flu?
The chances of humans becoming infected with this virus is extremely low. There has only been one confirmed case of human infection in the U.S., and that person was involved with culling thousands of infected poultry
How long until the birds return and the exhibit areas open?
There is no planned date at this time.
Do any of the Zoo’s birds have HPAI?
No birds at the Louisville Zoo have shown signs of HPAI.