One of Keszthely’s most popular tourist attractions is the Bird Park in the Helikon Castle Museum. After being forced to close at the end of November 2021, the Bird Park is teasing a reopening.
As 24.hu reported at the end of last year, Bird Park staff noticed that more and more birds were dying unexpectedly. In all cases, the presence of the H5N1 subtype of the avian influenza virus was confirmed by the laboratory of the National Food Chain Safety Office (NÉBIH).
Because of the virus, the entire flock had to be culled.
It was a huge loss for both the staff of the Bird Park and the visitors. However, Gábor Rigó, the owner of the birds, was most shocked and devastated by the death of the birds. He was incredibly close to them, he even gave some of them names.
He told likebalaton.hu the following:
“My life’s work has collapsed. There were birds that I had had for more than ten years, I started raising them in my own yard in Kalocsa. In 2016, I came to Keszthely with 120 birds of 22 species, and in five years, I had more than 50 species with a population of 360 birds. I always bought new specimens from the breeding stock to make the park as colourful as possible and to be able to hand-feed as many species as possible. All birds had to be destroyed…”
Despite everything, the Bird Park is now teasing a reopening. They shared the good news through Helikon Castle Museum’s Facebook page, with a video of the place.
The park and its surroundings have been completely decontaminated, and the 30-day official closure has expired. The park will reopen in March with 30 species of birds. As Gábor Rigó shared in the video, some species have already arrived in the Bird Park.
“We will open with the same species of birds that visitors have seen before. I can reintroduce species from the species list, I don’t need to apply for new permits,”
says Gábor Rigó.
For the March opening, he will be able to show 30 of the previous 52 species, but he will gradually fill the stock. They can start repopulating the stock, but the new specimens they bought can only be released from the closed tents after the quarantine period is over.
The peacocks, the pheasants, and the partridges have already arrived, and the bird residential area is full. The staff managed to buy mature birds, so we can expect to see reproduction this year.
If you like colours and birds and maybe even colourful birds, do not miss out on visiting the Bird Park in Keszthely once it opens in March.
Source: likebalaton.hu, 24.hu