Chinese Market at Center of Coronavirus Outbreak Sold Wolves, Snakes, Rats and Other Exotic Animals to Eat

China: The deadly coronavirus that has pneumonia-like symptoms has reportedly killed at least 25 people. The Chinese market at the center of the outbreak sold live animals, including wolf pups, foxes, rats, peacocks, crocodiles, giant salamanders, snakes, porcupines and camel meat to eat. The virus may be spread via human-to-human contact, and experts warn of a global pandemic. China locked down nearly 20 million people in two cities at the center of the outbreak, banning planes and trains from leaving in an effort to contain the disease which has already spread to other countries. One case has been reported in the US in Washington state. China’s previous deadly epidemic, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), was linked to people eating civet cats that caught the virus from consuming bats.

One expert said that said the real problem was in people’s behavior, rather than with the animals, and she offered simple advice: the way to prevent such infectious diseases is to “stay away from wildlife, say no to game, avoid their habitats and livestock and farms mixing with wildlife.”

The Chinese market at the center of the deadly coronavirus outbreak sold live animals — including wolf pups, foxes, rats and peacocks — to eat, according to a new report.

The wild animals were among 112 items that were peddled at the Huanan Seafood Market in the central city of Wuhan, Agence France-Press reported.

Other wildlife sold at the market, which has since been shuttered, included crocodiles, giant salamanders, snakes, porcupines and camel meat.

“Freshly slaughtered, frozen and delivered to your door,” said the price list for the vendor, “Wild Game Animal Husbandry for the Masses.”

The disturbing list circulated widely on China’s internet but could not be independently verified by AFP.

Chinese health officials believe the mysterious virus — which has so far killed at least 17 people and sickened hundreds more — originated from “wild animals at the seafood market.”

It has since been confirmed to spread via human-to-human contact, as fears mount that it could become a global pandemic.

The coronavirus, which causes flu-like symptoms, has spread to four other countries, including the US, where a case was detected in Washington state.

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