As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases increases around the world, a massive animal die-off has been reported in China. Local authorities said over 130 animals may have been intentionally killed in an attempt to stop the spread of the disease.

The incident was reported in Chongqing, which is a megacity in the southwest portion of China. It lies next to the Hubei Province. This area is believed to have been the source of the coronavirus outbreak, which has been renamed as COVID-19.

Animal Die-Off In China

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According to the United Press International, about 135 wild animals were found dead in the region. The city's Chongqing Forestry Bureau stated that the animals were from 17 different species including blackbirds, weasels and wild boar.

Initial testing on the animals revealed that none of them died from any known disease such as bird flu, Newcastle disease or COVID-19. Instead, local authorities discovered that the animals might have been deliberately poisoned using disinfectants in an attempt to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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Response Of Local Authorities

Chinese authorities still do not know the identities of the individuals who participated in the killing of the animals. For health reasons, local authorities have started working on burying the animals. These burial sites will be heavily disinfected to prevent the spread of diseases.

In response to the incident, Chongqing's local government has already deployed about 5,300 forest rangers to monitor the state of the wildlife in the region. In addition to preventing die-offs, the rangers will also try to monitor the health of the animals.

Latest COVID-19 Outbreak Tally

If the latest animal die-off was caused intentionally, it may have been brought on by the growing need to stop the disease from spreading. Current statistics revealed that the number of confirmed cases in China has already ballooned to 74,651. Reports indicate that over 2,000 people in China have already died due to the disease.

The number of confirmed cases in China has bumped up the global tally to almost 77,000 as of this writing. The country with the second most number of confirmed infections is South Korea with 156 followed by Japan with 94. Overall, about 2,200 people around the world have died because of the outbreak.