The Mink

Labrador looks on suspiciously

Worth recording in brief my first mink, caught in a shed by the river Urr. I’ve shot a mink and helped several others to meet their makers, but this was the first I have ever accounted for in a trap, and her existence might have gone totally unnoticed if it hadn’t been for her predilection for poultry. Over the course of a few days, this mink killed a number of chickens and was becoming a nuisance around the farmyard. With characteristic mink fearlessness, she was happy to hunt and kill chickens within a few feet of the farmhouse back door, and it was this callous disregard for human beings that finally brought her to an abrupt end.

Mink are widely disliked in this country, and whether or not “like” or “dislike” are useful reactions to any wild animal, the sentiment helps to inform a wider intolerance of this species. In their natural context, mink must be grand little beasts. The body is gorgeous and has gone in the freezer while I make arrangements for taxidermy, but I have to value the status of native birds, fish and mammals over the prosperity of a particularly ravenous killer. Many of our dearest native species have enough to worry about without the prospect of “black death” lurking around every bend in the river.


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