Thousands of Minks Descend on County After Being Set Loose From Fur Farm


Thousands of minks were let loose in a Pennsylvania county over the weekend, prompting a warning from a local animal hospital to avoid the animals.

“Over the weekend an unknown number of mink got out of a fur farm in our area,” the Sunbury Animal Hospital in Northumberland County wrote on Facebook.

The post went on: “There are mink all over the area surrounding the animal hospital. These animals should not be approached as they can be aggressive. They are not pets, and should not be taken in a home or to a rescue. If one of these minks were to approach you get far away from it,”

State police in Stonington said holes were cut into a fence surrounding the farm where the minks were located, allowing them to escape, according to The Daily Item, a newspaper in the city of Sunbury.

A game warden in the state confirmed that the farm was broken into and said that there were around 7,000 minks on the loose following the incident, according to TV station WNEP.

A mink at farmer Stig Sørensen’s estate where all minks must be culled due to a government order on November 7, 2020 in Bording, Denmark. On Monday, September 18, 2023, thousands of minks were let loose after holes were cut into a fence near a fur farm in Pennsylvania.
Ole Jensen/Getty Images

Newsweek reached out for comment to the Pennsylvania State Police via email.

A spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Game Commission told Newsweek that up to 7,000 minks were loose following the incident.

Speaking to The Daily Item on Monday, Cassie Marks, a Sunbury resident, said she helped recover some of the minks.

“We did not touch the animals. We just wanted to help out here,” she told the newspaper, adding that the minks were taken to a local hospital shortly afterward.

The Sunbury Animal Hospital’s Facebook post said, “Keep all pets inside if possible. Monitor your pets when they are outside. If anyone would like to help out and set traps to try and catch these minks the farmer would appreciate it. Captured mink can be brought to the animal hospital and we will be sure they are safely returned. Again do not approach these animals or try to catch them by hand.”

Minks are considered one of the state’s “most efficient predators,” according to the staate game commission. The animals normally live near streams, lakes and rivers, and adult males have an average size of 2 feet in length, including an 8-inch tail, and weigh around 1½ to 2 pounds, the commission said.

“Body configuration resembles that of a weasel: short legs; long, bushy tail; long, sinuous neck and body; short head; and pointed muzzle,” the commission added. “A mink’s coat is thick, full and soft. A short, tight layer of underfur is covered with longer guard hairs, which give the pelt its luster.”


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