Malmo: As if the Danish government's rushed decision to cull and bury more than 10 million mink wasn't a grisly enough story, thousands of the animals' bloated cadavers have begun to re-emerge from shallow graves.
The phenomenon was reported by Denmark's state broadcaster DR on Tuesday after carcasses were spotted popping up to the surface at a mass burial site at a military training field on Sunday.
"It is an extraordinary situation," Thomas Kristensen, a press officer with Denmark's National Police, which is responsible for the mink burials, told DR. "In connection with the decay, gasses form, which cause the whole thing to expand a little, and then in the worst case they get pushed out of the ground."
The environment ministry, which is regulating the burials, said in a statement that the minks' return from the grave was a "temporary problem tied to the animals' decaying process".
While the news prompted several mink zombie jokes on social media, local authorities near the burial ground have not found it funny, according to reports in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten.
They want the minks exhumed and incinerated, concerned that the burial ground may have contaminated local water sources.
"We do not want the graves to be there," director of the waterworks’ trade association, Susan Munster, told Nord News. "I’m a little doubtful if they can be dug up again once the minks start to decay. But you should hurry to do it now, if it is not too late."
Denmark earlier this month announced plans to cull all of its mink in the hope of wiping out a vaccine-resistant mutation of COVID-19, which had developed in the country's mink farms.
The cull decision has turned into a national scandal after the government of prime minister Mette Frederiksen acknowledged it had no legal right to order a cull of mink not contaminated by the COVID variant.
This comes as the acting head of a big Russian state fur company told a government television station the company plans to proactively vaccinate its own mink population against COVID-19 after other countries identified cases of the virus in the animals.
The London Telegraph, with Reuters