‘This is a natural disease event’: Over 100 of birds humanely euthanized at Noah’s Ark

HENRY COUNTY, Ga — Hundreds of birds are dead after local and state agencies have been on site at Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary working to contain a possible bird flu outbreak.

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Local and state officials like Georgia Department of Agriculture, USDA, and DNR have been on site since Aug. 13 working to try and stop the spread of bird flu.

As a result, those officials made the decision to humanely euthanize peacocks, pea hens, emus, ostrich, Guinea fowl, chickens, turkeys and geese, one owl, one crow and one sandhill crane. All as an effort to stop the spread.

“These species of birds can be carriers of the avian influenza and were exposed to the vulture population that has been dying off,” Noah’s Ark statement reads. “Unfortunately, their euthanasia is a critical step in attempting to maintain and mitigate this contagious disease not only to protect the other bird species at Noah’s Ark, but for the entire bird population of Henry County and Georgia as a whole.”

As of Friday, Aug. 26, officials at Noah’s Ark have confirmed with Channel 2 Action News that all bird species believed to be a threat to the spread of bird flu, have been euthanized.


Georgia Department of Agriculture veterinarian Dr. Janemarie Hennebelle said over 100 birds were euthanized and for a minimal of five months all avian species will be under quarantine.

“Over these coming months, our staff will monitor the health of remaining animals on site so that the facility can ultimately be released from quarantine and safely resume operations,” Hennebelle said.

Protesters lined the street on Friday demanding there be an investigation into the leadership at Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary.

“There were people in place to handle issues like this and they are no longer in place,” said Jordan Johnson, granddaughter of founder, Jama.

Noah’s Ark will remain under a strict quarantine and will remain closed to the public.

“While the animals in our care are not only our responsibility, they are also our family that we loved and that gave us great joy. We are heartbroken at the loss but understand its overall necessity in protecting the much larger bird populations on property and throughout the State,” officials from Noah’s Ark said.

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