Authorities are scrambling to recover thousands of mink that were released from a Pennsylvania farm.
On Sunday morning, one or more suspects broke into a mink farm in Rockefeller Township, about 85 miles from Allentown, and cut holes in the fences surrounding the farm, Pennsylvania State Police said in a release report.
The suspects also released somewhere between 6,000 to 8,000 mink from their pens, according to police.
"Numerous state agencies and farm staff are currently working on recovering the mink that escaped the fence," police said.
Pennsylvania Game Warden Mike Workman is advising residents to avoid the tiny predators.
"Just stay away. Don't touch it, don't try to trap it, and don't try to catch it. They will bite you, and they can potentially hurt you. We want to make sure the public is safe," he told WNEP-TV.
Mink are known as one of Pennsylvania's most efficient predators, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
The semi-aquatic members of the weasel family usually live on the edges of lakes, streams and rivers and are most active at night and in the early morning, though they sometimes venture out during the day, according to the commission.
The animals are "agile and fierce fighters" that kill prey with a "hard bite to the back of the skull," the commission says.
Since mink are opportunists that will feed on whatever is most easily caught or found, they pose a threat to pets in Northumberland County.
"Don't let (pets) out unattended," Dr. Beverly Shaw told WNEP-TV."Take your dogs out on a leash. Mink might not be big enough to go after a big dog, but that doesn't mean they can't get injured by one. I would suspect cats and kittens, kittens especially, could be at risk."
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