EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden had an announcement Wednesday for all the avian lovers out there, the birds have returned to their outdoor exhibits!

This announcement has been long awaited since the zoo first announced the birds’ quarantine back in November of 2022. The birds were moved inside to protect them from catching HPAI (Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza) after there was a case of the disease detected in the vicinity of the zoo.

The zoo had announced the birds would be back after the threat passed and hoped it would only be for four weeks, but more cases continued to pop up in the zoo’s radius, so the time was extended. To compensate people for not being able to see the birds, the zoo offered free carousel rides with regular admission to the zoo.

Many months later and the zoo’s vet staff says the threat has passed and they will allow the birds out of quarantine.

“They all came running out the door. They’re pretty excited and started exploring the exhibit here. We got two adventurous ones that have made their way back into the water and everyone else is kind of hanging out in their nesting boxes.”

The zoo says thank you to the public for being patient while the birds’ safety was being ensured and can’t wait to see everyone back at the zoo.