Patna: The Sanjay Gandhi Botanical Garden in Patna was closed for visitors indefinitely following a bird flu epidemic that has killed six peacocks since last Tuesday, officials in Patna said.

The entire zoo has been made off-limit to all visitors including the regular morning walkers.

As reported, the first peacock was reported dead on December 18. Since then, five more peacocks were found to be dead under mysterious condition.

The zoo officials then sent a dead bird to a lab in Kolkata that determined the peacocks were the victims of H5N1 virus, also known as bird flu.

Disappointed visitors at Patna Zoo on Tuesday.

Talking to the reporters on Tuesday the chief of the forest protection services D K Shukla said the flu likely came from Munger where hundreds of birds died earlier this month without any rhyme or reason.

When authorities intervened and sent the dead birds to the lab in Kolkata, it was determined they were the victims of H5N1 virus. Many birds were then culled and anti-virus powder was sprayed in the area to stop the flu from spreading, he said adding same chemical was being sprayed at Patna Zoo to ensure there was no trace of the virus.

Until then, the zoo will remain closed to the public.

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