Norfolk, Va. – Three cassowary chicks born in June at the Virginia Zoo died in July from Eastern Equine Encephalitis.
The mother of the chicks also died but the zoo is still waiting on pathology tests to confirm whether EEE was the cause.
The remaining three cassowary birds at the Virginia Zoo have been vaccinated for the disease.
The Norfolk Department of Health reports no mosquito pools or sentinel chickens in Norfolk have tested positive for EEE.
Mosquito control has fogged the neighboring areas of Colonial Place, Riverview, Virginia Place & Lafayette. They say crews will begin fogging in these areas again starting Wednesday.
Additionally, Vector Control staff will increase mosquito trapping, surveillance and larval treatments.
Cassowaries are flightless birds native to the tropical forests of New Guinea, north-eastern Australia and area islands. They feed mainly on fruit, though they are omnivorous and also eat various plant shoots, seeds, insects, and small reptiles and mammals. They are among the largest birds, slightly smaller than the ostrich and emu. Cassowaries are actually very shy, but are capable of inflicting serious injuries with their claws. They have a reputation as world’s most dangerous bird, but in reality attacks are rare and usually involve people who feed the birds.