Over the last two years, several words have become much more commonplace in our vocabulary. When you thought of "quarantine" before 2020, you probably thought of an ancient plague or some sort of radioactive disaster, but a majority of Americans spent some sort of time in quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health worker gesturing stop sign in quarantine.
natasaadzic/ThinkStock/GettyStock
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But it's not just the citizens of West Michigan who are finding themselves keeping to themselves, to keep healthy. Some of our favorite feathered residents have gone into lockdown recently.

Last week, it was reported that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s was alerted that the Avian Influenza was detected in a backyard flock of birds in Kalamazoo.

In response, the John Ball Zoo announced that as a part of their Emergency plan, they have put all of their birds into quarantine in order to further insure their safety and to keep the spread of the avian flu to a minimum.

John Ball Zoo FB
John Ball Zoo FB
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You may think this practice could seem a little overkill, but it's actually fairly common place for Grand Rapid's own zoo. In fact, when animals originally arrive at the John Ball Zoo, they are put into a 30-60 day quarantine before they are introduced to other animals and exhibits to ensure they don't spread anything from their old home to their new friends.

As for this quarantine, the John Ball Zoo has enacted their Emergency Disease Plan. This means that the zoo has temporarily closed all of their walk-through bird cages and also placed all birds in quarantine. Thankfully so far, the John Ball Zoo has not reported that any birds at their facilities are sick.

So if you plan to take a trip to the zoo, be patient while these wonderful creatures are protected so they can live a long and heathy life. Or, you can go the extra mile and donate to help offset the cost of their care.

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