Two Canada geese recovered from Lions Park in Cheyenne have tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department says.

Officials say more than 20 geese have been found dead in the park, and residents should expect to encounter additional dead birds.

While rare, the bird flu can infect humans, and the Game and Fish is reminding folks not to touch or handle sick or dead birds or allow their pets to feed on them.

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The department is also urging hunters to take the following precautions when handling harvested wildlife:

  • Do not handle or eat sick game.
  • Field dress and prepare game outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.
  • Wear rubber or disposable nitrile gloves while handling or cleaning game.
  • When done handling game, wash hands thoroughly with soap or disinfectant and clean knives, equipment and surfaces that come in contact with game.
  • Do not eat, drink or smoke while handling animals.
  • Do not feed sick/found dead carcasses/tissues to domestic animals — such as dogs and cats.
  • All game should be thoroughly cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F before being consumed.

The Game and Fish says it has been monitoring for the virus's presence in wild birds and is asking anyone who encounters clusters of dead birds to contact their regional Game and Fish office or fill out the online form.

According to the Wyoming Department of Health, people who have been exposed to birds potentially infected with bird flu should monitor for illness for 10 days after their last exposure.

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