Activists released an estimated 40,000 mink from a pelt facility into the wild, and Stearns County Sheriff Don Gudmundson is calling it an incident of “domestic terrorism”.
The perpetrators have not been captured and have not made a public statement, so it is unknown why they released 40,000 mink at the same time in the same location. If it was people who wanted freedom for the animals, then they didn’t think the plan through very well.
“They are not interested in animal rights, they are interested in chaos,” Gudmundson said Tuesday morning of the people who released the mink.
Fur Commission USA, the mink farming industry group, announced Tuesday a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrests and conviction of the perpetrators, reported 9 News.
Investigators, including the FBI, believe more than one person dismantled the exterior fence at Lang Farm between 10:30 p.m. Sunday and 5:30 a.m. Monday, causing an estimated loss of $750,000 for the business that raises minks for their pelts.
Evidence suggests they parked about a half-mile away from the farm on a township road. They then released all the mink — between 30,000 and 40,000 — from their cages.
Dan Lang, the co-owner of the farm started by his great grandfather in 1936, said, “These people that let these mink out, they gave them a death sentence is what they did.”
Of course living on the farm is a death sentence as well, because they are only being raised until their pelts are ripe for harvesting, then they are killed for fur after living their entire lives confined to small spaces on the farm.
He guessed that at least 5,000 mink had died, either from heat stress or the chaos that ensued after the animals were released.
Lang said the mink generally will not survive in the wild because they lack natural survival skills due to being caged and fed their entire lives.
Those that do could have a negative impact on the native wildlife, Sheriff Gudmundson said. Minks are meat eating predators, and those released were let go near a wildlife management area and wilderness preservation area.
Gudmundson says while the FBI might be hesitant to call the event domestic terrorism, he is not. He called the group of people who released the mink “nitwits.”
(Article By Jeremiah Jones)