Thousands of mink freed from that farm have died, fur group says

The group is offering a $10,000 reward for information on who's responsible.

Thousands of mink released from a Stearns County farm have died.

That's according to Fur Commission USA, which represents the interests of mink farmers in the U.S. The group says concerned citizens and mink ranchers from across the Midwest have come to the area to try to find the 38,000 mink that were released from Lang Mink Farm in Eden Valley early Monday morning.

"Anyone who thinks they are helping the animals by doing this are severely misinformed," Michael Whelan, executive director of Fur Commission USA, said in a statement Tuesday. "This is a crime against the animals as much as against the Lang family."

Lots of mink have died, and will die

The group says thousands of mink have died from heat- and stress-related issues, and noted many more will continue to die.

The mink are domesticated, so they don't know how to live outside of a farm where they're cared for daily, the Fur Commission says. Plus, they're susceptible to diseases from other animals because they've never been in the wild before.

“If [the perpetrators] actually cared about animals they wouldn’t release thousands of mink to die out in the heat. We’ve already got reports of chickens killed. Don’t they care about God’s chickens?" Stearns County Sheriff Don Gudmundson told The Associated Press.

The Stearns County Sheriff's Office is investigating the incident, and suspects an animal rights group is behind setting the mink loose. However, the Star Tribune says no group has claimed responsibility.

The Fur Commission says this type of incident can be prosecuted under the Federal Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, noting the FBI is also investigating the incident.

The group has offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for "the attack."

GoMN has reached out to the sheriff's office for more information on its investigation.

Mink in the wild are common in Minnesota

Wild mink are native to Minnesota. In fact, the Minnesota DNR says they're the most common water mammal meat eater in the state, and can be found on "nearly every wetland, lake, and creek in the state."

The DNR describes them as a "versatile predator" that's able to chase prey on land and in the water.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-10-21 at 5.14.36 PM

Mayor Carter announces COVID vaccine mandate for St. Paul city workers

It comes after Minneapolis announced the requirement for vaccines or regular testing for city workers in September.

two twelve medical center chaska GSV

Ridgeview cutting hours at 2 Minnesota urgent care locations

Hours of operation at a third location are also being shifted earlier.

Flickr - QFamily - Ben Jerrys

Latest to wade into Mpls. Question 2 debate is ... Ben & Jerry's?

The ice cream business said it supports the creation of a Department of Public Safety.

mickey moore driver's license shared

Mpls. candidate tries to 'set the record straight' about where he lives

Questions about Ward 9 candidate Mickey Moore's residency are quickly piling up.

Screen Shot 2021-10-21 at 1.49.16 PM

COVID-19 case rate drops in 51 of 87 Minnesota counties

Four of the 10 lowest case rates are metro-area counties.

unsplash - visitor patient doctor hospital emergency - crop

Allina mental health workers vote to unionize

Concerns over safety led the workers to unionize.

teacher, coronavirus, covid-19, school, classroom

Minnesota reports COVID deaths of teen student, 2 school staffers

Cases in schools rose again in the past week, though there are signs cases may have peaked.

Proctor football

Investigation of alleged misconduct on Proctor football team nears conclusion

The football team canceled its season and the coach subsequently resigned.

minnesota house of representatives

Minnesota House will continue hybrid operations, require masks in 2022

The Speaker of the House announced the plans in a memo to members and staff on Thursday.


29 baby pigeons rescued from 'attic prison' in Duluth

Some of the babies were heartbreakingly emaciated.

Riptide standing

Dog survives 'heinous act' in St. Paul, reward offered

The Humane Society of the United States is offering a $5,000 reward.

This abandoned mink just landed a job as an educational ambassador

Someone probably had the mink as a pet then abandoned her.

This abandoned mink just landed a job as an educational ambassador

Someone probably had the mink as a pet then abandoned her.

shakopee splash pad 1

Someone cut off the foot of a lion at the Shakopee splash pad

Officials are offering a $1,000 reward for information on who did it.