In Puerto Madryn they guarantee no risk to their ‘star’ animals

The presence of sea lions dying from bird flu and fears the disease will continue to spread until it reaches Antarctica has raised concerns, especially in light of the holidays. Although summer is still a long way off, Puerto Madryn is about to start its tourist season with whale watching and the arrival of penguins.

Bird flu is unlikely to be transmitted to cetaceans. “Marcela Uhart, a veterinary biologist from Puerto Madryn, believes the town has had to suspend some of tourism’s star products because of the virus outbreak, Dive and snorkel with sea lions, the only affected species. As with the rest of the Argentine coast, the rest of the sailing and beach activities continue as normal.

Sea lion infestation has also been documented off the coast of Chubut, but it has not affected sea lion colonies like Necochea and Mar del Plata, where colonies have become infected. About 10% of the population diedaccording to data from the Argentine Animals Foundation.

Regardless, when two infected samples are detected, Precaution. According to the director of the Puerto Madryn Tourism Office, they are working with the Ministry of Tourism and Protected Areas of Chubut Province and the Ministry of Health of the province to monitor the protocol developed by SENASA.

As a result, commercial activities involving interactions with sea lions, such as snorkelling, diving and kayaking, are suspended until next Saturday “in order to minimize the potential risk of species-to-species transmission and to keep local fauna and tourists safe.”

Meanwhile, the province’s Ministry of Tourism clarified that sightings of southern right whales from boats or on the coast continue as normal, with Puerto Madryn’s three-kilometre beach Open and without any kind of restrictions.

UHart, a biologist and veterinarian at the University of California, who lives in Puerto Madryn, commented that due to differences in immunity and behavior, it is possible for bird flu to spread to other species such as whales and guanacos.

The expert recalled The virus is carried by migratory birds They, along with other scavengers, transport it to wolves in feces and other fluids. He asked people to have a responsibility to avoid approaching animals behaving strangely and to report any animals behaving strangely to the authorities immediately.

The sea lion colony is located in the Punta Loma Nature Reserve, 14 kilometers from Puerto Madryn. They can be seen from a viewpoint located on the cliff overlooking New Bay, where there is also a cormorant colony.

“We will continue to monitor the situation and take appropriate measures in cooperation with experts and authorities,” explained tourism zone officials ahead of the upcoming peak season in the middle of this month. Magellanic penguins and walruses at Peninsula Valdes.

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