According to officials in northwest Ohio, residents are being warned to keep an eye out for tens of thousands of mink that were released from a facility in Van Wert County. The result of a reported break-in at Lion Farms USA Mink Farm in Hoaglin Township, the Van Wert sheriff’s office stated it occurred in the wee hours of the morning on November 15.
Whoever did it destroyed fencing at the facility and let loose somewhere between 25,000 to 40,000 mink from their enclosures. While mink are small in size, they are known as predatory animals, and numbers this large released into one area all at once could cause significant issues.
Mink on the Run
“As a result, they can be a bothersome pest for homeowners, livestock owners, and property managers,” the official release stated. “Minks have proven to be especially costly and problematic for poultry ranchers, as well as homeowners with ornamental ponds filled with koi and other fish.” The sheriff’s department is being joined by several other state and local agencies in investigating the event, including the Ohio State Patrol. They are asking anyone with knowledge of the break-in to immediately contact the sheriff’s office at (419) 238-3866.
Animal Rights Groups
Mink have long been farmed for their luxurious fur. Anyone familiar with the process would be aware that they are killed in the late fall due to their coats thickening ahead of winter. Animal rights activists like PETA are frequent critics of the farming practices, often calling them barbaric and speaking out on the animals’ behalf. In this particular case, investigators have not said whether this was the motive for the break-in and release.
While it’s quite possible this was a case of someone or some group taking a stand, the impact from the release of this many mink at one time in one place could have real consequences for the area.
For starters, mink, like otters, are semi-aquatic mammals found most often in the wild near streams and creeks, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Carnivores, they are also territorial creatures known for being very vocal. They communicate with other mink by screeching, barking, hissing, and even purring. No further news has been reported on the incident.
This article by Rebecca West was first published by The Animal Rescue Site. Lead Image: PIXABAY/NIBMAN.
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