Marmot Meat

The Tarbagan marmot (Marmota sibirica) is a species of rodent in the family Sciuridae. It is in China (Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang); northern and western Mongolia, and Russia (southwest Siberia, Tuva, Transbaikalia). In the Mongolian Altai, the range overlaps with that of the Gray marmot. The species was classified as endangered by the IUCN in 2008.
The tarbagan marmot has eaten for centuries in the native cuisine of Mongolia, and in particular in a local dish called boodog. The meat is cooking by inserting hot stones; preheated in a fire, into the abdominal cavity of a deboned marmot. The skin is then up to make a bag within which the meat cooks. Hunting of marmots for food is typically done in autumn when the animals are heavier since they are preparing for hibernation.

Plague after eating raw marmot

Therefore a Mongolian couple has died of the bubonic plague after eating raw marmot kidney; triggering a quarantine that left tourists stranded in a remote region for days, officials said Monday. The ethnic Kazakh couple died in Mongolia’s westernmost province of Bayan-Ulgii, which borders Russia and China. so “the two dead were local people,” said local governor Aipiin Gilimkhaan. “There no cases reported after them.”

A six-day quarantine on residents in the region, preventing nine tourists from Russia; Germany, and Switzerland from leaving.”They are all fine. No one is ill,” said a German tourist named Teresa, who did not want to give her last name. Sebastian Pique, but a 24-year-old American Peace Corps volunteer who has lived in the region for two years; said he and the tourists invited to the governor’s office on Friday to informed about the situation.

The plague germ

After the quarantine not many people, even locals; in the streets for fear of catching the disease,” Pique told AFP. The quarantine was expected to lifting late Monday after no other cases of the plague. Authorities have warned people against eating raw marmot meat because it can carry Yersinia pestis, the plague germ. At least one person dies of the plague every year in Mongolia, mostly due to consuming such meat, according to the National Center for Zoonotic Disease.
Some people ignore the warnings as they believe that consuming the innards of the large rodent is good for their health. The Black Death wiped out millions of people in the Middle Ages but cases are now very rare. It is the most common form is bubonic, which is spread by fleas and causes swelling of the lymph node. The more virulent form is pneumonic plague, which can transmitted between humans through coughing.