Minks infected with a mutated strain of COVID-19 in Denmark appear to be rising from the dead, igniting a national frenzy and calls from local officials to cremate mink carcasses.
While the sight itself is certainly terrifying for the residents of West Jutland, a region of the country grappling with confirmed COVID-19 cases connected to mink, there is likely a scientific explanation for the zombie-like reemergence from their graves.
A Danish police spokesman, Thomas Kristensen, told a state broadcaster that gases form while the body decays underground, according to the Guardian.
“In this way, in the worst cases, the mink get pushed out of the ground,” Kristensen said of the nightmarish sight.
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The nation has planned to cull all 15 million minks in the country, which produce 40% of the world’s mink fur.
Because of the rushed burial, the animals were placed in shallow graves – just over three feet deep. Now, officials plan to bury the creatures in graves nearly double the depth. The area will be also monitored nonstop until a fence can be set up, the Guardian reported.
But for some local officials, that may not suffice.
Some have also been concerned about the graves’ proximity to rivers and other water sources, which may contaminate water supplies in the region. At least two mayors have suggested burning all the mink corpses in order to prevent further concerns, the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten reported.
As of Wednesday, Denmark has reported more than 74,000 COVID-19 cases and 800 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins.
Contributing: The Associated Press. Follow Joshua Bote on Twitter: @joshua_bote.
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