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Deanna Rose to close temporarily after suspected avian flu outbreak

Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead.jpg
Posted at 1:45 PM, Oct 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-05 14:45:31-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Five birds at the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead in Overland Park have died in recent days from suspected cases of avian flu.

As a precaution, the city-owned farm attraction will close at 3 p.m. on Wednesday and remain closed Thursday. The rest of the exposed flock will be euthanized.

“Animal care specialists discovered a sudden death of four geese in the Farmstead’s flock, and one wild duck earlier this week,” the city of Overland Park said in announcing the temporary closure. “Initial testing results returned a presumed positive for the H5 virus, the avian flu.”

Other birds from the same enclosure at Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead, which was named for a slain Overland Park police officer, have been quarantined and scheduled for euthanization.

All other birds, which did not have contact with the infected flock, also have been quarantined as staff undertakes mitigation efforts, including draining and cleaning of ponds along with cleaning and disinfecting animal care areas.

“The health and well-being of Farmstead visitors, staff and animals is our top priority,” Overland Park Parks and Recreation Director Jermel Stevenson said in a statement. “We are working to ensure that when the Farmstead reopens, we are minimizing the risk to the rest of the animals. At the same time, we’re grieving the loss of the animals we work hard to care for, that help our community learn about life on a Kansas farm.”

Animal care workers will continue to monitor other birds at the property for signs of avian flu, which is carried by wild birds that are unaffected by it.

It is often fatal in domesticated birds, but doesn’t present much threat to people.

Avian flu cases have been on the rise in Kansas and Missouri since the spring, prompting the Kansas City Zoo and other organizations to take precautions against its spread.