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Wildlife center asking for bleach; bird flu confirmed in area

Posted at 6:19 PM, Mar 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-10 05:34:50-05

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. — The Peace River Wildlife Center is asking for donations from the public after traces of the bird flu have been detected in the area.

Director Callie Stahl said cleaning is key to keeping this virus contained. They have asked for bleach because they have been going through so much of it during their daily cleanings.

Unfortunately, cleaning supplies are expensive and sometimes hard to come by now due to the pandemic.

In addition to bleach, they have an Amazon Wish List with other supplies listed.

The center has covered all of their open-air cages so outside birds can't infect their resident birds as well. They said none of their resident birds have become infected at this point.

Stahl said they have found traces of the virus in two pieces of migratory ducks called the Lesser Scaups and Hooded Mergansers.

"Unfortunately it seems there is a whole flock of those guys [Hooded Mergansers] who got the virus, who became symptomatic and died in this one lake area in Punta Gorda," she said.

Stahl said they have treated about 15 birds from that specific area.

If you come across a sick bird, Stahl asked people to call them first before handling the bird or bringing it to their Wildlife Hospital.

"The animals that do get it, unfortunately within a couple of days, do pass away. We're seeing neurological symptoms or abnormal behavior such as spinning, falling down, starting at the sky, or lying there without being able to get up," said Stahl.

She also noted there's no evidence the bird flu has spread to humans or other wildlife but it is possible.