What happens to farmed mink when animal activists release them?


Because farmed mink are domesticated animals, they are used to farmers supplying all of their needs, including food, water and shelter. So, when animal activists release them into the wild, they face many dangers they are unprepared for.

Typically, many farmed mink do not wander far from their sheds and are quickly recovered, but for those that leave the farm, the future is very uncertain. If there are abundant and easy food sources in the area, like chicken coops and koi ponds, they might survive long enough to adapt to life in the wild. But most end up dying of starvation, or become roadkill, a curious fact thought to be because they confuse the sound of traffic with the farm’s motorised feed cart.

In countries where American mink are not indigenous, there is evidence that released mink can adapt to the wild and form feral populations. However, this has come at a high price for local wildlife [] on which the mink prey. In the case of the UK, descendants of released mink are seen as a major threat to the native water vole, and also some colonies of ground-nesting birds.

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