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No arrests made yet as 30,000 to 40,000 domesticated mink set free from Minnesota farm

About 30,000 to 40,000 mink were released from a central Minnesota mink farm overnight Monday. Submitted photo

EDEN VALLEY, Minn.—Anywhere from 30,000 to 40,000 mink are on the loose in Stearns County in central Minnesota after burglars entered a mink farm, cut a fence and opened cages to let them free.

The incident happened sometime between 10:30 p.m. Sunday, July 16, and 5:30 a.m. Monday, July 17, on Lang Farms LLC about 2.5 miles northwest of Eden Valley. That's about 30 miles southwest of St. Cloud.

As of late Monday, the sheriff’s office said no one had been arrested in the case.

The Stearns County Sheriff's Office responded to the burglary and vandalism just after 5:30 a.m. and reported that an unknown person or persons entered the property, dismantled areas of the exterior fence that surrounds the barns and released all of the mink from their cages.

Because the mink were domesticated they are not expected to survive in the wild, though some mink may survive initially and may be loose in the area, said the sheriff's report. The release took place adjacent to a wildlife management area and a wilderness preservation area.

If residents see any mink in the area, they are asked not to approach them because they may bite. Lang Farms, which raises mink for pelts, asked that residents call the farm so the animals can be recaptured by experienced mink handlers.

Residents can call the farm and at 320-453-4750 and leave a message if any mink are sighted in the area.

The Stearns County Sheriff's Office has notified state and federal officials about the case.

The release of predatory domestic animals will have a negative impact on the surrounding native wildlife population, officials said.

Anyone with information about the burglary is asked to contact the Stearns County Sheriff's Office at 320-251-4240 or Tri-County Crimestoppers at 1-800-255-1301 for a possible reward.