Zombie minks? The terrifying animal story coming from Denmark
Here’s the thing: with a death toll of 1,465,186 & the reported cases tally at 63,072,905, the coronavirus pandemic has been stressful as it is. There’s a lot of loss & grief & unprecedented life changes that have made the year 2020 hard. So, the last thing we want is a zombie-apocalypse type horror movie for our real life. But that’s apparently in store for us.
The “zombies” in this case are the otherwise-adorable minks. Are you gasping? Let us explain.
What exactly has happened?
Denmark was home to an estimated 15-17 million minks before November 2020. But then new COVID-19 cases started being linked to the mink farms – according to the Danish authorities, a mutation of the coronavirus, called the Cluster 5 strain, was found in the minks, which transmitted from minks to humans & infected 12 people. That’s when Denmark ordered the wholesale slaughter of its entire mink population.
The move was shocking, but ordered in good faith as the authorities didn’t want the new strain – which reportedly isn’t inhibited as effectively by antibodies – to jeopardize the efficacy of the vaccinations being designed across the globe. The World Health Organisation (WHO) had also warned about the grey area in which this new mutation operated.
The health agency cited initial findings that observed how this strain has “moderately decreased sensitivity to neutralizing antibodies.” Even though nothing concrete can be said until further studies, the belief was that it’s best to err on the side of caution. That’s how Denmark culled its entire mink population, even though it meant losing its status as the largest exporter of mink fur in the world.
Zombieland: Minks rise from the dead in Denmark
The move has been extremely controversial: while the fur industry is not without its evils, animal rights activists saw this as an end to an exploitative industry. But this also meant that people with mink farms have been hit the worst, financially speaking. A farmer told Reuters, “They can’t just pull the plug and let me deal with the consequences. I won’t be able to start over, everything is ruined.”
It was later revealed that the government didn’t have the legal authority to do so. In fact, Denmark’s Agriculture Minister Mogens Jensen announced his resignation in the aftermath of this fiasco. Now, in a terrifying turn of events, thousands of dead bodies of the culled minks have reappeared. What? After the culling was ordered & carried out, the bodies were collected at a mass burial site in western Denmark.
According to the Guardian, the dead bodies of the minks are coming up to the surface because of the decomposition process that’s causing bloating in the corpses & overflow in the burial sites. This happened because the corpses were buried just three feet deep.
How bad is it?
Thomas Kristensen, a national police spokesman was quoted as saying, “As the bodies decay, gases can be formed. This causes the whole thing to expand a little. In this way, in the worst cases, the mink get pushed out of the ground.” In order to contain the morbid & ghastly situation, the police are trying to shovel a layer of soil on top of the furry critter corpses.
The hasty work done in the burial is honestly straight out of a horror movie about the end of the world & officials are also calling it a public health nightmare. The most pronounced fear local residents have is that the animal corpses could contaminate the underground water reserved & in turn, the groundwater drinking supply network.
The environment ministry maintains that it’s a temporary decaying problem, but there have also been fears that some minks escape the mink farms & could carry the coronavirus mutation. It’s 2020 & we wouldn’t be surprised if the end comes at the hands of a group of adorable minks.