German zoo shuts after bird flu kills emu

File picture of an emu

A zoo in northern Germany has been temporarily closed after an emu died of bird flu.

Ueckermunde zoo director Katrin Toepke told the dpa news agency on Friday that the emu had died of the H5N8 strain of the virus, which can easily spread among birds but is not known to infect humans.

As a precaution, the zoo in north-eastern Germany, near the Polish border, was shut as veterinary officials determined how to protect the other birds in the facility, including swans, storks and many varieties of ducks.

The H5N8 strain of bird flu has been found this year in wild birds in 12 of Germany's 16 states, and in poultry farms in four states.

It has also been detected in several other European countries, including Denmark, Austria and Switzerland.

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