Escaped Minks in Ohio


Emerson Dieruf, Author

Officials in Ohio had to clear many dead minks off of highway U.S. 127 on November 15, 2022.

It started when there was a break-in at Lion Farms USA Mink Farm overnight, and that led to a whopping 25,000 to 40,000 minks escaping through the broken fencing.

After the minks had escaped the farm, Sheriff Thomas Riggenbach of Van Wert County said that by the afternoon of the day they escaped, the employees at the mink farm had managed to catch most of the minks. However, he also said residents must be careful because while they managed to catch most of the minks, there were still 10,000 missing minks that the employees hadn’t managed to catch.

“I don’t know that there is a significant threat to people,” Sheriff Riggenbach said during an interview that happened the following day, “I don’t want to encourage people to approach them and try to capture them on their own.”  Riggenbach also mentioned that while the escaped minks aren’t a danger to people, they are a threat to household pets and other small animals. “Typically these animals would be fed on a routine within the facility, and now they are going to be trying to figure out feeding themselves,”

Many of the remaining minks that escaped had died on highway U.S. 127, and the Ohio State officials had to clean up many dead mink corpses off of the highway.  “We had to have our department of transportation come out this morning to assess the highway road condition because of the number of animals that had been killed by traffic, and get the roadway cleaned off to avoid having any safety issues that way,” Sheriff Riggenbach said.

Residents of Ohio have also had safety concerns about the minks stepping foot onto their properties.  Officials had stated that they could either call a nuisance trapper to deal with the minks, but residents were also permitted to kill the minks if they are found on the resident’s property.

The sheriff had also stated that the remaining 10,000 minks yet to be found would never be returned to the farm because many had already been caught or killed. The sheriff also stated that him and the other officials are currently looking into who had released the creatures.