Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza
May 13th, 2022
Update on Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) from Gyl Andersen, Manager of Wildlife Rehabilitation.
The Wildlife Hospital remains open, but the temporary closure of our Visitor Centre will drastically reduce our funds at a time when they are most needed. It is Baby Season at MARS and the influx of injured and orphaned baby birds, raccoon kits, and other small mammals has begun. Our biggest expenses at this time of year are typically food and nursery supplies, but we also need to purchase additional personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies to combat HPAI. We hope to be able to open our Visitor Centre to the public soon, but in the meantime we are calling on our supporters for help! Any contribution you can make to our animal care fund would be very much appreciated. If you can support us, please visit our Ways to Give page.
Updates to our HPAI
• We have increased biosecurity measures for the MARS site. This includes sanitizing footbaths, a separate patient admission building, quarantine zones for different species, and covering the Ambassador enclosures. Our infection control plan will be available on our website soon.
• Do not bring deceased wild birds to MARS. Please call MARS at 250-337-2021 for guidance. You can also report suspicious bird deaths to the Bird Hotline: 1-866-431-BIRD (2473).
• We are currently unable to accept donations of poultry, waterfowl, or eggs as food for the animals.
May 5th, 2022
BC is in the midst of an outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI).
We expect to take a financial hit during this time. We will need to purchase more personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies. We may also lose income from our Visitor Centre due to reduced tours. Please consider supporting us with a donation to our animal care fund. Every little bit helps us to continue rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife!
Clinical Signs of HPAI
- Sudden death
- Unexplained emaciation
- Lack of energy, movement, or appetite
- Decreased egg production
- Open sores
- Discharge (clear or cloudy) from the mouth, nose, ears or vent
- Extensive swelling and/or purple discolouration of the tissues of the head (including the conjunctiva)
- Abnormal feathers: annular constrictions of the shaft, shaft haemorrhages, or retained waxy sheaths
- Behavioural abnormalities: falling over, head tilt, head and neck twisting, circling, paralysis, seizures
- Locomotion abnormalities: unable to stand or flap wings properly, yet with no traumatic injuries
- Mass mortality or clusters of wild bird mortality (mortality unexpected considering the natural history of the species)
- Some species may be infected and remain asymptomatic. Waterfowl, shorebirds, and aquatic birds are most likely to shed HPAI without showing signs of illness.