Culled Mink Rise from Their Graves, Spark Fear in Denmark

They were killed en masse to prevent the coronavirus from spreading to humans, and now we have zombie mink.
Fabienne Lang

Carcasses of dead minks rose to the surface in Denmark's mass mink graves due to gases from decomposition. 

Denmark culled over 15 million minks earlier this month as fears of the coronavirus spreading to humans from them began to circulate.

Now, it seems some of these minks are rising from the dead as their bodies bloat to the surface of their shallow graves. Placed near underground water reserves, worries over contamination are being voiced, as described in local news outlet Jyllands-Posten (in Danish). 


"As the bodies decay, gases can be formed," Thomas Kristensen, a national police spokesman, explained to local news broadcaster DR. "This causes the whole thing to expand a little. In this way, in the worst cases, the mink get pushed out of the ground."

The graves, which are 3.2 feet (one meter) deep, are located on a military training site in West Jutland, have now been covered with more soil by local Police, per the Guardian.

It turns out that 3.2 feet (one meter) is not deep enough when it comes to mass cullings, as Kristensen further explained"Unfortunately, one meter of soil is not just one meter of soil –it depends on what type of soil it is. The problem is that the sandy soil in West Jutland is too light. So we have had to lay more soil on top."

However, he continued by saying that "This is a natural process."

Adding insult to injury, it turns out these graves are placed nearby lakes and underground water reserves, which could end up being contaminated as well as the surrounding ground. 

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People are speaking up, with at least two mayors asking for the minks to be dug up and incinerated, as Susan Münster from the Danish water board explained to Jyllands-Posten. "I must confess I find it worrying," she explained. 

A local politician, Leif Brogger, who also spoke with the newspaper, said, "The authorities are playing with our environment, and using it as a dumping ground."

What was a quick-fix emergency has now turned into another problem. The Danish environment ministry explained to the Guardian that the phenomenon was a "temporary problem tied to the decaying process."

It also stated that the area would be closely monitored every day and that a fence would be erected, so as to block any potential issues with animals and humans. 

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