Animal rights activist Gauri Maulekha, on 19 October, blamed the Delhi Zoo director for the deaths of birds in the complex, saying it was a case of sheer mismanagement.
"Day before yesterday night, avian flu influenza was detected in Delhi zoo. Due to the lack of complete protocols or quarantine facilities or proper infirmary facilities, the Delhi zoo has not been able to segregate its sick birds from the healthy animals," Mauleka told.
"In fact, the staff over there is not even trained to handle sick animals and how to keep the infection from spreading. Now, the infection has spread to such an extent that the zoo had to be shut down," she added.
She also added that not only has it become a health hazard for the birds and animals in the zoo, but it's also a major health concern for the people of Delhi.
"They have mismanaged the zoo to such an extent, we also want the Central Zoo Authority to immediately pull up the director," Maulekha said.
The National Zoological Park has temporarily shut down after nine birds died and a few others were detected with influenza and is taking steps to ensure that the infection does not spread to the rest of the birds and animals in the zoo.
"The issue was detected last Friday and Saturday in which a total of nine birds died including rosy pelicans, painted storks and ducks. We sent the samples to Jalandhar and Bhopal and few birds were detected with influenza and since then there have been no deaths," Riyaz Khan, PRO of the zoo, told the media here.
However, as a cautionary method, all visits have been prohibited from the zoo for a few days until the entire area is declared as safe by the concerned agencies which will be arriving to take stock of the situation.
Asserting that all steps are taken for the infection to be contained, Khan added that the zoo is lush with vegetation and plants, making it difficult for the virus to spread.