A gruesome discovery of hundreds of dog pelts under a bridge at Hefei's Feixi County in Anhui, China, has sparked fear among residents.
The location was a favourite among locals for walks or runs, but many are now avoiding the area.
Residents say the number of pelts has increased daily over the past month.
When the news broke among Chinese media outlets, there were between 500 to 600 pelts under the bridge.
Concerns have also been raised over possible water contamination.
One resident was quoted saying: "One or two pelts is one thing, but this many is something else entirely.
"It has become so bad that children cry out in fear if they pass by."
Local authorities have opened an investigation into the case.
Officials speculate that someone may have been drying the skins out in preparation to produce leather.
Although the skins do not seem rotten, it will take time to see if the flow of blood from the skins into the river will have any lasting adverse affects on the quality of the water.