Every call the hotline gets regarding mink starts with “I think there’s a ferret or a weasel in my yard/shed/garage/etc.” No one ever thinks that what they are looking at is a mink. Most people think they only live in Russia, or somewhere equally as cold, snowy and remote. Mink actually live right near where we all work and play. Forest Park in St. Louis, the Meremac River banks in South County and Arnold, Columbia River Bottoms, and Lake of the Ozarks are all homes for our native minks. Any river bank will do for these little critters, and sometimes they’ll settle for a large creek, or quiet pond or lake. They primarily eat fish, and keep to themselves, not usually causing much trouble for us humans.
Occasionally though, we’ll get a call from a fisherman, swimmer, hiker, and even the Army Corps of Engineers regarding mink. They tend to create trouble for sandbags and levies from time to time, but it is somewhat rare for them to cause any major structural damage. People run across them in parks and swimming areas and will sometimes see one that it is injured, sick or not doing well for one reason or another. In these cases, we encourage people to call the hotline to get assistance for these little guys. Minks and pretty spread out, few and far between, and their population isn’t as good as it should be. Any mink that can be saved from illness or injury should be taken to a local wildlife rehabilitator, and then re-released back to the wild. Please call the hotline at 1-855-WILD-HELP to find a rehabber near you.