Denmark faces new horror as bodies of culled mink rise from mass graves

Richard Orange
·3-min read
The government ordered the culling of all Danish mink because of the coronavirus - Ritzau Scanpix 
The government ordered the culling of all Danish mink because of the coronavirus - Ritzau Scanpix

As if the Danish government's rushed decision to cull and bury more than 10 million minks wasn't a grisly enough story, thousands of the animals' bloated cadavers have begun to re-emerge from their shallow graves.

The phenomenon was reported by Denmark's state broadcaster DR on Tuesday after mink 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 state broadcaster 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".

Watch: Danish farmers protest against national mink cull due to COVID-19 mutation

The cadavers' eerie re-emergence has triggered a flurry of zombie jokes on Twitter.

"2020, the year of the zombie mutant killer minks," wrote online marketer Stefan Bøgh-Andersen.

"Run... The zombie minks are coming," wrote Nicolai Nelson.

Denmark earlier this month announced plans to cull all of its more than 15 million minks in the hope of wiping out a new vaccine-resistant mutation of Covid-19 which had developed in the country's mink farms.

The rushed cull decision has turned into a national scandal after Prime Minister Frederiksen's government acknowledged that it had no legal right to order a cull of minks not contaminated by the Covid-19 variant.

Denmark's agriculture minister has already admitted that the burial ground where the re-emerging bodies were spotted, outside the town of Holstebro in Western Jutland, was situated too close to a nearby lake.

The decaying mink are buried close to a lake  - Shutterstock 
The decaying mink are buried close to a lake - Shutterstock

The dead minks have been dug one metre down into the ground, and then covered with lime and a layer of earth, but according to Kristensen the earth around Holstebro had proven so sandy that more is needed to keep the carcasses down.

"One meter of soil is not just one meter of soil. It depends on what it is made of. So that’s why we’ve seen this happen," he said.

According to the country's environment ministry, the minks should also have been covered by at least 150 centimetres of earth.

Karsten Dahl Schmidt, the nearest neighbour to the grave, told DR that he worried that the liquids from the rotting bodies would seep into the nearby Boutrup Lake, which is a popular bathing spot.

"I dream that everything gets put back to how it was before," he said. "You cannot just do nothing here. You have to dig the minks back up and send them for incineration."

Watch: Danish Prime Minister selects new minister following mink culling scandal