EDEN VALLEY, Minn. — An estimated $750,000 worth of minks are dying after vandals tried to free them from captivity.
According to the Stearns County Sheriff’s office, between Sunday night and Monday morning, the culprits broke onto the property of Lang Farms. The farm breeds minks for their pelts. The vandal or vandals broke down parts of the fence to gain access to the barn and released approximately 30,000 to 40,000 minks from their cages.
According to the Star Tribune, the farm has captured about 5,500 minks, but most of them died shortly after.
According to the Minnesota Zoo, minks are very common in Minnesota. Despite environmental changes, the mink population in the state is healthy enough for trapping to still be legal.
Several pro-animal groups showed their support of the vandals on Facebook.
The Anti-Fur society wrote, “The mink farm that had 40,000 minks released yesterday had $750,000 losses. They hope to “recapture” the minks and are asking for the public to help by calling them @ 320-453-4750 if they see the animals. What a nerve!”
The page Unoffensive Animal wrote, “HIT REPORT!! Minnesota, 18th July. 40,000 mink liberated from farm. According to authorities, 40,000 mink were freed from a fur farm in Minnesota, causing a loss of $750,000. The raiders dismantled the exterior fence to then free all animals and destroy the cages.The local sheriff has bought into the stereotypical concept of ‘mink will struggle to live in the wild’ and ‘it will cause environmental damage.’ Meanwhile, Minnesota has a healthy native population of mink.
Long run the furries.”
After being told the minks were dying, the page In Defense of Animals wrote, “Since mink farmers don’t generally do ANYTHING to protect animals from extreme temperatures, if any die from the heat, it will be no different than what would have happened to them anyway, except this time they have a chance.”
This is not the first time Minnesota has been hit by vandals who freed minks. In 2015, two men faced charges filed under the Conspiracy to Violate the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act after hitting multiple states and releasing thousands of minks. Approximately 450 minks were released in Minnesota.
The Tri-County Crime Stoppers group is offering a $1,000 reward to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest of those responsible.