Dogs are digging up the corpses of Ebola victims buried in shallow graves in Liberia and eating them in the street, villagers have claimed.
Furious residents of Johnsonville Township, outside capital Monrovia, raised the alarm after packs of wild dogs were spotted digging up corpses from a specially-designated 'Ebola graveyard', dragging them into the open and feeding on their flesh.
The grisly scenes came three weeks after government health officials - desperate to stem the country's rising infection rate - hurriedly buried the bodies despite a heated standoff with villagers who refused to give their permission to use the land.
But rather than resolve the dispute, Liberia's Ministry of Health burial team dug the graves at night to avoid further confrontation, making the infected bodies easy targets for scavengers, villagers say.
Now fears are mounting that the dogs - which cannot grow sick from the strain of Ebola running rampant through West Africa but can carry it - will be able to pass it on to humans through licking or biting.
'We are very disappointed in the Health Ministry, especially the government that took an oath to defend and protect us,' Alfred Wiah told The New Dawn. 'To see them act in such manner is unacceptable and we’ll never allow the government come to bury any longer.'
He added: 'They will be resisted by us because I think the government has failed to protect us.
Why bring Ebola bodies and not bury them well?'
While the dogs are unlikely to grow sick from the virus, there is a strong chance they could still pass it on to humans, Dr. Stephen Korsman of the University of Cape Town’s medical virology division told News 24.