CLEVELAND, Ohio: After vandals broke into a farm and released up to 40,000 minks from their cages this week, thousands of the animals were seen roaming the countryside of northwestern Ohio.
Local media in Van Wert County, Ohio, reported that minks overran nearby roads and many were hit by passing vehicles, and hunters also targeted them.
In a news release, Sheriff Tom Riggenbach said that suspects destroyed fencing and released between up to 40,000 minks, adding the incident is being investigated as a case of vandalism and breaking and entering.
Minks "are carnivorous animals that stick to a diet of fresh kills," regularly hunting animals larger than themselves, he added, urging homeowners, poultry farmers and others to avoid the animals and call licensed trappers if they see them.
In 2013, the animal rights group, the Animal Liberation Front, claimed to have released minks from a farm in Van Wert County, but it was not immediately clear if that group was involved in this latest incident.
The Delphos Herald reported that the group took credit for releasing about 1,000 mink from another Ohio farm earlier this month.