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June 3, 2013

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2 dead geese at zoo had no flu

TWO wild geese found dead at the Shanghai Zoo yesterday were not infected with bird flu, zoo officials said.

One of the bar-headed geese, weighing 3 kilograms, died of intestinal inflammation and a smaller one, only 20 days old, died of hepatitis, a necropsy showed.

Their bodies were seen floating at the zoo's swan lake by a netizen who posted it on Weibo, causing fears of further H7N9 avian influenza outbreaks.

The H7N9 virus killed a 59-year-old man on Friday, raising the disease's death toll in Shanghai to 15. The man was diagnosed with bird flu on April 6.

Shanghai has confirmed 33 H7N9 cases, according to the Shanghai Health and Family Planning Commission.

The netizen, identified as "blueraptor," said some birds were flying near the bodies of the two geese.

The bar-headed goose breeds in Central Asia in colonies of thousands near mountain lakes and winters in South Asia, as far south as India.

The bird is pale gray and can be easily distinguished by the black bars on its head.

The bar-headed goose is one of the highest-flying birds. The species has been reported migrating across the Himalaya Mountains.


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