Turns out the fur trade, now industry, sucks for more reasons than I thought. One of the ways the Black Death was spread in the 14th century was by fur trappers and hunters. Marmots were trapped for their fur in Central Asia and taken West along the trade routes. Around this time, many were found already dead, likely from plague, skinned and shipped off to Western Russia and Europe.
On a side note, marmots are super cute critters. I got to see some on a trip to the Olympic Peninsula.
from Plagues & Poxes: The Impact of Human History on Epidemic Disease by Alfred Jay Bollet