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MARS Wildlife Centre temporarily closes visitor centre, gift shop to prevent avian flu

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With a recently confirmed case of avian influenza in the Comox Valley, the MARS Wildlife Rescue Centre’s gift shop and visitor centre are temporarily closed.

The areas are closed starting today, according to an announcement on the centre’s website. They say the Wildlife Hospital will stay open, but the visitor centre’s closure will cut funds.

“It is baby season at MARS and the influx of injured and orphaned baby birds, raccoon kits, and other small mammals has begun,” read the statement. “Our biggest expenses this time of year are typically food and nursery supplies, but we also need to purchase additional personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies to combat [avian flu].”

They are hoping visitors can return soon but will be keeping the measures in place to reduce the risk of transmission.

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“Our commitment to the safety and well-being of our resident ambassador birds (eagles, owls, and crows) and wildlife patients is our first priority, and we hope that this additional precautionary measure will help reduce the risk of on-site transmission of the virus,” said the release.

They say more updates and education about avian influenza will be sent out soon.

READ MORE: MARS Wildlife Rescue Centre taking steps to prevent avian flu transmission

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