Up to 8,000 mink are on the loose after escaping from a Pennsylvania farm, posing a serious threat to community wildlife and pets.
An unknown vandal sneaked into the Rockefeller Township fur farm sometime between midnight and 7 a.m. Sunday to make holes in the fence surrounding the facility, according to Pennsylvania State Police.
Between 6,000 and 8,000 mink fled their pens into the wooded community, about 85 miles northwest of Allentown.
The jailbreak sparked an intense search involving numerous agencies in a race against time to recapture the weasels.
These tiny creatures are known as one of the state’s “most efficient predators,” according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
“They are agile and ferocious fighters, killing their prey with a strong bite to the back of the skull,” the government said.
Their preferred food includes mice, voles and muskrats and they have also been known to hunt rabbits, birds and fish, but they will take whatever they can get.
“In general, a mink is an opportunist and will feed on whatever is easiest to catch or find,” the PGC said.
Up to 8,000 mink are on the loose after a vandal punched holes in the fence of a Rockefeller Township farm in Pennsylvania. Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images
Due to their aggressive nature, Sunbury Animal Hospital warned residents not to approach the minks.
“If a mink comes close, you stay away from it. Keep all pets inside if possible. Keep an eye on his pets when they are outside,” the hospital said on Facebook.
“If someone catches a mink, they can take it to the animal hospital, dead or alive. “Again, do not approach these animals or try to catch them with your hand.”
An unknown vandal sneaked into the Rockefeller Township fur farm sometime between midnight and 7 a.m. Sunday to make holes in the fence surrounding the facility, according to Pennsylvania State Police.Getty Images
Some of the mink have been recovered, but rescuers have not yet made a dent in the runaway population running rampant in the municipality.
The problem is so bad that State Senator Lynda Schlegel Culver (R) and State Representative Michael Stender (R) established a hotline to speed up mink hunting.
Police are still searching for the culprit or culprits, who will be charged with agriculture-related crimes.
Between 6,000 and 8,000 mink fled their pens into the wooded community, about 85 miles northwest of Allentown. Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images
Last year, 10,000 mink were released under similar circumstances after vandals destroyed fences around an Ohio farm.
Many of the animals were killed by speeding cars before they could enjoy their new freedom.