This story from the Times Online pings the word 'conspiracy' to these stories of weirdness before the 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit China a few days ago, but such stories are not rare. In fact, animals acting strangely before earthquakes hit is fairly common.
From the London Times :
One blogger from Shandong province, in eastern China, wrote that more than a month ago, he went to his local earthquake resesarch centre several times to report that his animals had been disturbed and restless.
But, he wrote: "They not only ridiculed me, they accused me of making up stories."
The Chutian Metropolis Daily reported that on April 26, 80,000 tonnes of water suddenly drained from a large pond in Enshi, Hubei province. The province shares a border with Chongqing Municipality, which was devastated by the earthquake on Monday.
On May 10, a Sichuan-based newspaper, the West China Metropolis Daily, reported that hundreds of migrating toads descended upon the streets of Mianyang, the second largest city in the province which neighbours Wenchuan County, the epicentre of the earthquake.
In the city of Mianzhu, 60 miles from the epicentre, bloggers pointed to reports just weeks before the earthquake of a mass migration of more than one million butterflies.
The quakes are expected to have killed more than 15,000 people, more than 20,000 remain trapped under collapsed buildings, schools and apartment blocks as this is written, and more than 40,000 people are missing.