Absolute Chaos: Tens of Thousands Carnivorous Minks Released from Farm


A northern Ohio town was turned into something out of a campy B-horror film on Tuesday night when thousands of minks were set free from a factory farm.

The Van Wert County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post on Tuesday that someone destroyed fencing at Lion Farms USA Mink Farm in Hoaglin Township, which allowed the furry creatures to escape.

It was initially reported that between 25,000 to 40,000 minks were on the loose, which caused the office to issue a warning.

“Minks are carnivorous mammals that stick to a diet consisting of fresh kills,” the post said. “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.”

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Van Wert County Sheriff Thomas M. Riggenbach told USA Today the community needed to be alerted to make “informed decisions and understand what had taken place.”

In addition to fencing damage, “ALF” and “we’ll be back” were spray painted in red, according to WANE-TV in Fort Wayne, Indiana, about 40 miles west of Hoaglin Township.

The acronym is short for Animal Liberation Front, an extremist group that focuses on animal rights.

While it is unclear if the group was involved, ALF took credit for releasing roughly 1,000 minks in Massillon, Ohio, this month and said it was “very pleased” to hear about the latest incident, according to the Van Wert Times Bulletin.

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In an updated post, the sheriff’s office said 10,000 minks were still roaming the streets, and individuals in the community have been hunting and trapping the animals.

“Sheriff Riggenbach advises people not to approach loose mink because they might bite,” it said.

“If mink is spotted, call Lion Farms or a nuisance trapper so the animals can be recaptured by experienced handlers.”

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Eddie Meyer, manager of the farm, told WANE that approximately 95 percent of the escaped creatures will die within a few days due to the minks being domesticated.

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While the farm lost the majority of its minks, Meyer said it was able to recover roughly 7,000 animals.

An investigation is ongoing.

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