Vandals broke into a farm and released up to 40,000 minks into the wild overnight in northwest Ohio. The Sheriff’s office also cautioned farmers and locals about the threat they posed to the neighborhood.
A mink at a farm near Soroe, after government’s decision to cull his entire herd due to coronavirus disease, Denmark. (Photo:Reuters)
By India Today Web Desk: Thousands of carnivorous minks were released from their cages at an Ohio farm in the United States on Monday night after vandals broke into Lion Farms USA Mink Farm in Hoaglin Township, media reports said. Suspects vandalised the fence of the farms and let 25,000 to 40,000 minks out of their cages, the Van Wert County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
‘Minks are carnivorous mammals that stick to a diet consisting of fresh kills,’ the Sheriff’s Office stated. The minks can be a bothersome pest for homeowners, livestock owners and property managers.
The mass mustelid breakout happened between 1 am and 4 am after vandals destroyed USA Mink farm, police reports stated. Although many of the released minks were corralled by farm workers on the property, 10,000 minks are still unaccounted for. A farm manager said someone left a spray-painted message that said “we’ll be back”, AP reported.
A plow was brought in to help clear the carcasses away after many minks were killed while crossing a nearby road, the Sheriff’s office said. After the incident, the sheriff’s office announced that the incident would be investigated as either a breaking-and entering crime or vandalism.
“The sheriff warns local residents and area farmers that minks are carnivorous mammals that stick to a diet consisting of fresh kills. They regularly hunt prey bigger than themselves. As a result, they can be a bothersome pest for homeowners, livestock owners, and property managers. 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 news release stated.
The sheriff’s office also contacted nearby and authorised trappers who could help locals capture minks and also alerted the state traffic department after complaints of vehicles striking the animals on a road close to the farm emerged. The sheriff’s office issued a warning on Facebook cautioning people not to approach the furry fugitives “because they might bite.”
However, it still remains unclear who was behind the break-in, but animal rights advocates have a history of releasing minks. They have long denounced mink farming which involves killing the animals for their plush coats.
(With agency inputs)