ULAN BATOR, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- Mongolian police seized 827 dead marmots this year, which could have spread the bubonic plague, health authorities said Tuesday.
According to the country's National Center for Zoonotic Diseases, the marmots were found in vehicles heading to the capital city of Ulan Bator.
While hunting marmots is illegal in Mongolia, many Mongolians ignore the law and regard the rodent as a delicacy.
Since the beginning of this year, six suspected cases of bubonic plague have been reported across Mongolia, two of which were confirmed by laboratory tests in the western province of Khovd, Nyamdorj Tsogbadrakh, the center's director, told a press conference.
One of the two infected people recently died, and more than 40 people in close contact with the deceased are now being quarantined, said Tsogbadrakh. ■