ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - The University of Minnesota Raptor Center is offering public tours once again after temporarily stopping during the height of the bird flu outbreak.
During the spring, the center saw a spike in cases of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), which is almost always fatal to predatory birds. As of June 19, 186 birds admitted to the center tested positive for HPAI, according to their website.
However, after a few weeks of declining numbers, their veterinarians and clinic staff determined it was safe to begin the tours and are welcoming back the public.
Beginning on June 28, you can take a tour and experience owls, hawks, falcons and eagles in person.
The center’s website states they are adding additional precautions for visits to ensure the health and safety of their ambassador birds:
- All visitors are required to wear shoe covers during their visit. Shoe covers will be provided on arrival and may easily be slipped on over shoes.
- All visitors are required to use hand sanitizer upon entering and after donning shoe covers.
- Wheelchairs, scooters, and other mobility aids that have been in contact with the ground outdoors will need to enter across a disinfecting floor mat.
The tour lasts approximately 30 minutes and is limited to a group of 10 people. Tours must be scheduled ahead of time which can be done at https://raptorcenter.as.me/schedule.php.