Farm-raised mink consume mostly expired cheese, eggs, fish, meat and poultry slaughterhouse wastes, dog food, and turkey livers, as well as prepared commercial items. They also will eat rodents, birds, and insects.
Minks are considered to be more of a pest than a danger to humans. However, they do prey on small animals if given the opportunity. Thus, preventing mink from eating livestock products is important in reducing attacks on people.
Mink have been known to attack humans when cornered or when threatened. If attacked, try to remain calm and quiet. If possible, call for help using a whistle or shout. Do not run; this will only encourage the mink to continue the attack.
If you are bitten by a mink, seek medical attention immediately. The mink's teeth are capable of penetrating human skin, so require treatment as if you were bitten by a snake. Your doctor may need to clean and stitch up any wounds that result from mink bites.
Although mink attacks can be dangerous, most are not fatal. If you are ever unsure whether or not a mink attack could have potentially harmed yourself or your pet, call your local animal control office for advice.
The food of mink changes according on the season. They consume crayfish and tiny frogs in the summer, as well as small animals including shrews, rabbits, mice, and muskrats. Additional dietary options include fish, ducks, and other aquatic birds. They mostly hunt on animals throughout the winter. During this time, mink eat rodents such as lemmings and voles.
Mink are native to North America, and there are three species worldwide. The European mink was introduced to Australia and New Zealand where it has become invasive. The American mink was originally found across most of Canada and the United States. Today it is considered an endangered species due to loss of habitat. The Asian mink was introduced to China where it became invasive. It may also be found in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan.
Minks are typically between 25 and 35 inches long and weigh between 1 and 3 pounds. Females tend to be larger than males.
Minks are nocturnal hunters that use their sharp teeth to kill small animals. They also use their paws like hands to grab their prey. If threatened, a mink will hiss and try to scare away its predator by raising its front legs up into the air.
Since mink are carnivorous animals that live in colonies, they often will eat any animal meat that is available.
Minks are tiny mammals that belong to the Mustelidae family. American minks are the most commonly employed for fur manufacturing. Minks raised for the fur business sometimes spend the entirety of their brief lives on the same factory farm where they are born (and finally murdered), never venturing outside.
They are hunted for their skin and fur, which is used in clothing manufacture. Minks are killed when they are trapped without escape in a box trap or when they are shot with a firearm. The trapping and killing of minks for their skins and fur is a major cause of population decline for this animal.
Minke whale meat is also harvested by humans. Between 1990 and 2000, approximately 100,000 minke whales were killed by commercial hunters in Japan. This number represents 90% of all minke whales killed during that time period. Minke whale meat is popular in Japan where it is considered a luxury food item. It is also sold in some Japanese grocery stores but at a much higher price than other meats. There is no evidence that shows that eating minke whale has any negative effect on humans.
Finally, minks are killed when they interfere with human activities such as digging wells or building roads. These deaths are usually attributed to predation by humans rather than starvation or disease. The mink farming industry in China alone kills about 2 million minks each year.