On March 2, 2022, the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium (River Museum) was notified of a case of highly pathogenic avian influenza within the state of Iowa, in Potawatomie County. Upon receiving the information, the facility immediately began the process of reviewing its Avian Influenza Management Plan and taking initial steps to mitigate risk to our avian population.
On April 25th, 2022, the organization moved to level two in our management plan, which triggered implementation of more stringent mitigation measures to ensure the safety of our birds.
At this time, the River Museum’s American Kestrel, Barn Owl and Red-tailed Hawk have been moved indoors and will remain in secure off-exhibit holding spaces, out of public view. The Bald Eagle was moved to a more sheltered outdoor exhibit space—the Raptor Roost—but remains viewable at this time. Waterfowl remain in the Backwater Marsh exhibit with additional barriers installed as a precautionary measure.
“We will continue to closely monitor this situation and follow the recommendations of state and federal agencies. We’re prepared to make further adjustments in the upcoming days and weeks, with the emphasis always being on the health and safety of animals both in the wild and in our collection, as well as our guests and employees,” said Director of Marketing and Communications Wendy Scardino.