A YOUNG environmental activist dubbed the 'British Greta Thunberg' has sensationally claimed that coronavirus is a "byproduct of us mistreating the planet".
17-year-old Bella Lack, who is an ambassador for The Born Free Foundation, said that "many studies" have shown that much of the world's most devastating diseases were as a result of the damage done to the natural world around us, and stressed that the world needed to make drastic changes to stop this from happening again.
The teenager appeared on ITV's This Morning to explain her theory.
"It's not a belief," she stressed.
"It's been shown in many studies, the more we infringe into nature, especially deep into forests where we haven't been before, we weaken the buffer between us and viruses.
"Because 70% of disease are Zoonotic - come from animals - that really correlates with the fact we are destroying nature at a high rate.
"The more we continue to weaken the natural world, the more we weaken ourselves.
"We've already had sars, we're had mers and now we have coronavirus and it will only get more extreme, unless we drastically reduce how much we impact on nature."
The south-west Londoner admitted that her activism has affected her education, much like Greta Thunberg.
"The night before many of my GCSEs I was out doing a protest and my parents would say I need to revise, but I got through it.
"This year I was off school doing a documentary and I will be back in September."
Bella said she'd been campaigning since she was 11-years-old, after being inspired by a documentary about a palm oil production plant which was endangering the lives of an orangutan.