According to the zoo, the infection in a deceased hammerhead - a wading bird about 50 centimetres high - was discovered during a routine check. Since avian influenza has been occurring more and more frequently in Central Europe for several years, deceased birds are examined at random at Berlin Zoo and Tierpark. The Berlin-Brandenburg State Laboratory and the National Reference Laboratory for Avian Influenza had confirmed the result.
Avian flu case: Berlin Zoo closed
Due to a case of bird flu, Berlin Zoo was closed and evacuated on Friday. This was confirmed by the zoo administration and the Senate Department for Consumer Protection.
Humans rarely affected by bird flu
So-called avian influenza is known as bird flu or avian influenza. The virus behind it is called H5N1. So far, it has only been linked to human infections in rare individual cases. However, it can easily spread in bird populations - for them it is a deadly danger.
Duration of closure still unclear
The staff in charge of caring for the birds were wearing protective clothing to prevent the virus from spreading, the statement added. The veterinary authorities had ordered the closure of the zoo's animal population. The closure of the premises was an important step to get a better overview. As a precautionary measure, the Tierpark Berlin has also started to move most of its birds into stables.