“Right now, it’s like living in some sort of sci-fi movie or horror film. Everywhere you look, there’s mink — running through the fields, standing in the roads, trying to find shelter in random buildings,” Erin Bourinski wrote on Facebook yesterday.
The post came as thousands of mink are running loose after a break-in at a mink farm in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania State Police say that someone cut holes in the farm’s fence on Sunday morning between midnight and 6:50 a.m., freeing between 6,000 and 8,000 mink from the facility.
The owners of Richard H. Stahl Sons Inc. fur farm in the Rockefeller Township immediately reported the incident to state police. The Daily Item reported that Mark Stahl declined to comment but said he was unsure of what happened and that people should not approach the animals if they’re seen.
Animal-rights activist groups are suspected at the helm of the incident. The News-Item reported that Joseph Buddenberg, a North American Animal Liberation Front press officer who spent two years in federal prison for similar incidences, contacted their office, stating that the incident on Sunday is consistent with Animal Liberation Front actions.
Just an hour ago, Buddenberg released supposed “anonymous” footage taken by liberators at the mink farm.
Animal Liberation Front is an extremist group that claimed just last month to have released 3,000 mink from a Wisconsin farm. Last year, “ALF” and “We’ll be back” were left tagged on an Ohio fur farm where 40,000 mink were released.
Multiple state agencies and farm staff are now working to recover the released animals. Sunbury Animal Hospital has also joined the call, volunteering to take in captured animals at the hospital and warning residents to keep animals inside.
“These animals should not be approached as they can be aggressive,” the animal hospital said in a Facebook post that has since been taken down. “They are not pets, and should not be taken in a home or to a rescue. If one of these minks were to approach you get far away from it. Keep all pets inside if possible.”
Although mink are considered some of the most effective predators in the state, the mink raised on farms are fed balanced, regular diets and are not used to running and hunting in the wild. Opinions vary on the released animals’ ability to survive.
Multiple state agencies and farm staff are currently working on recovering the escaped mink.
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