News, Events and Culture

Precautionary fencing installed at Esplanade aviaries

Thursday March 29 2018

Palmerston North City Council is installing temporary fencing in front of the Victoria Esplanade aviaries. It is a precautionary measure after a bird was found to have a species of mycobacterium.

Photo shows exotic birds in the aviary in Victoria Esplanade.

The mycobacterium is of very low risk to people, however there have been some rare cases of transmission to severely immunocompromised individuals such as those with immune system disorders, HIV, and those undergoing chemotherapy.

“Public health and safety is important to us, even though there is an extremely low risk of a visitor to the aviary contracting the disease, we would rather overact, than take no action,” says Aaron Phillips, PNCC Senior Property and Parks Planner.

Massey University veterinarians are working closely with Palmerston North City Council to investigate the disease and to finalise a disease management plan.

“We are working as quickly as we can, and considering the implications for the birds in our care. There may be some impact on birds that were to be rehomed in Central Energy Trust Wildbase Recovery on its completion. Once the initial issues have been dealt with, we will continue with actions to ensure the disease is not transmitted into the new facility.”

All aviary staff and 100 Massey University vet students who recently handled birds from the aviaries have been advised on the matter.

“Esplanade visitors will still be able to view the birds while in quarantine, but we ask people to respect the temporary fencing and remain behind it.”