Speaking in an interview with China National Radio on Sunday, Liang Weidong, a deputy director in Pengshan’s publicity department, said that the authorities were first made aware of the ducks on Tuesday.
Officials discovered over 50 woven bags which contained the carcasses of around 1,000 ducks in the river.
They were unable to determine the cause of death as some of the ducks were already decomposed, Mr Liang said, adding that the bodies had been disinfected and buried.
An initial investigation suggested that the duck corpses had originated from upstream and were not dumped by local Pengshan farmers, he said.
Chinese state media report the dead ducks are not a threat to humans and livestock along the river banks. Xinhua reports:
The dead birds have been handled safely, posing no threat to local residents and livestock, the official added.
The Nanhe River, along the middle reaches of the Minjiang River in Sichuan, is not a source of drinking water, according to the local authorities.
This recent cavalcade of dead animals comes amid concerns over water pollution. Meanwhile, netizens have also reacted to the animal dumping. The Wall Street Journal reports:
Users of China’s most popular Twitter-like microblogging service, Sina Weibo, were quick to react with gallows humor honed in the Shanghai dead pig affair.
“No health threat…Chinese people’s immune systems are getting more and more impressive,” wrote one.
“Next is dead people,” wrote another.
While many bemoaned the fouling of yet another Chinese water way, at least one microblogger chose to see the soup bowl as half full: “The quality of Chinese people is improving. At least [the dead ducks] weren’t sold to a restaurant.”