-AP Photo

LAHORE: Punjab Wildlife Department Director General Syed Iftikhar Husain Shah told Dawn on Tuesday that some 150 birds had died so far at Jallo Wildlife Park due to a viral disease called newcastle.

Shah said the disease had no treatment, however, he had appointed three vets at Jallo Wildlife Park. A vet was already working at Jallo and two were transferred from Lahore Zoo and Lahore Zoo Safari. “We are trying our best to fight the disease,” Shah said.

The official said healthy birds had been separated from the affected ones and the Lahore region office director had been transferred to Jallo Wildlife Park.

On the other hand, an official at Jallo Wildlife Park said about 190 birds had been killed by the disease. The official said about 20 birds died on Tuesday alone. This disease hit the park around Feb 22, but it became severe from Feb 29, the official said.

Affected birds were being given supportive medicines, he added.

It may be mentioned that the Jallo Wildlife Park has a rich collection of birds, pheasants and peacocks and it supplies these species to other zoos and parks of Punjab under an exchange programme.

According to wildlife experts, sending and receiving of birds under the exchange programme must be watched to stop the contagious disease from spreading to other parks and zoos.

In January last the disease killed about 40 birds at the Lahore Zoo Safari Park.

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