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Have released mink reached Bluffton?

By Paula Scott

On Tuesday, November 22, the Van Wert County sheriff's office announced that in an act of vandalism, thousands of domesticated mink were released from Lion Farms USA Mink Farm, some 33 miles from Bluffton. On November 27, a Bluffton Icon reader reported that a mink was spotted on County Line Rd. near the Village Park.

Some 10 thousand mink are believed to have escaped from among the 25 thousand or more that were released. Many were killed on roads near the farm.

The Bluffton Police Department reminds us that wild mink do live in this area and have been spotted in recent years.

Guidance from the sheriff's office notes that mink are carnivorous and hunt prey larger than themselves. However, it is expected that these domesticated animals would have difficulty surviving in the wild.

If property owners find mink on their land, they may protect livestock and pets. Trapping is also an appropriate reponse. For more information, contact the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

News reports indicate that other criminal mink farm releases have occured in Ohio and Michigan. 

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