Avian Flu Information

Two birds fly through the sky with their wings spread

Did you know there are ongoing outbreaks of H5 bird flu in wild birds and poultry in the United States? Per CDC, H5 bird flu virus infections in US wild birds/poultry pose a low risk to the public. They can, however, be dangerous for local birds, including those living at the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo. 

Zoo Updates

To help ensure the health and safety of our birds, we've put in place certain measures.  We've changed our flamingo pond and our flamingo feeding practices to minimize contact between birds and humans.  Some of our birds may not be on exhibit when you visit, depending upon changing risks, and we thank you for your support and understanding.

Ensure a Safe Visit

People very rarely get sick with bird flu, but those with work or recreational exposures to birds/poultry should take precautions. Here are a few ways you can help us keep our flock safe during this outbreak. 

Never visit the zoo immediately after having had exposure to wild migratory waterfowl. This includes the duck pond or Baylands trails; or visiting any facility which has live poultry or birds including school, feed store, swap meet, live bird market, pet store, fair, veterinary clinic, another zoo, bird refuge or bird hunt club. Before visiting us, you should:

  1. Shower and change into freshly laundered clothes
  2. Change your shoes
  3. Wash your vehicle, including undercarriage and wheel wells

If you are not sure that the park or open space that you have visited recently has wild waterfowl, then take precautions like washing your shoes or asking us for disposable plastic shoe covers to wear in the zoo. 

If you have live birds at home, please plan to visit the zoo after this Avian Influenza outbreak is over. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do around wild birds?

Avoid direct contact with wild birds and observe them only from a distance, if possible. 

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What do I do if I find a dead bird?

Avoid contact with wild or domestic birds that appear ill or have died. Call animal control to report sick or dead birds. 

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Is my food safe?

It is safe to eat properly handled and cooked poultry in the United States. 

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Can I travel to other countries?

CDC does not currently recommend any travel restrictions related to bird flu in countries affected by bird flu in poultry or people. 

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What do I do if I get sick after contact with infected birds?

Generally, you should isolate until recovery and monitor your health. 

Learn More


Additional Resources 

The California Department of Food and Agriculture is providing regular Avian Influenza updates. Follow along here

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has a summary of 2022 Detections of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, available here

The CDC is providing active updates on the current Bird Flu Situation. Find the summary here.  


Last updated on 7/28/2022